Pig blood samples test JE positive

ITANAGAR, Aug 12: About 15 percent of the blood samples collected from pigs in five districts have tested positive for Japanese encephalitis (JE).
Twenty-eight out of the 179 blood samples collected from pigs in East Siang, Upper Subansiri, West Siang, Lohit and Longding have tested positive for JE, the animal husbandry, veterinary & dairy development department said in a press statement.
The department conducted the survey recently to detect the possible presence of an antibody against the JE virus in the pig population of the five districts from where JE cases in humans were reported.
While 21 samples out of the 93 collected from East Siang have tested positive, no JE virus has been detected in the samples collected from Lohit, the department said.
Two samples out of the 35 from Upper Subansiri, four out of the 15 from West Siang and one out of the 14 from Longding district have tested positive, it said.
“The test was done with single dilution antigen pre-coated indirect ELISA kits in the disease investigation laboratory in Nirjuli in Papum Pare district,” it said.
Dr Gyamnya Baki Garam, a veterinary microbiologist working in the disease investigation laboratory, said there are more than 200 zoonotic diseases and JE is one of them.
“There is no need to panic. The case fatality rate of JE is the same as dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever diseases, which are also transmitted by mosquitoes. Migratory birds like egret and herons play an important role in spreading JE from one place to another,” Dr Garam said.
Animal Health Joint Director Dr Tachi Taku urged pig owners to cooperate with the department’s field staffs in collecting blood samples. He said the details of the test report have been sent to the district authority, the NVBDCP in-charge, and the animal owners, so that the vector control programme can be intensified.
Stating that the department is now capable of performing any ELISA-based testing, Dr Taku instructed field veterinary officers to collect blood samples, especially before the onset of monsoon, “so that the potential area can be identified for intensifying the vector/mosquitoes control programme.”