Rajbiraj, August 23

Saptari locals have been terrorised after a child died of Japanese encephalitis in the district.

Yaman Dev, 12, of Rajbiraj Municipality-9 died while undergoing treatment at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, on Sunday.

Locals were terrified after doctors at BPKIHS declared Dev had died of Japanese encephalitis.

Yaman was admitted to Rajbiraj-based Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital on July 31 after he complained of fever, headache and weakness. He was later taken to Biratnagar-based Life Guard Hospital on August 4 after he could not be treated at the zonal hospital.

Senior Public Health Administrator at Saptari Public Health Office, Bijay Kumar Jha, said Yaman was again transferred to BPKIHS on August 5 as he could not be treated at Life Guard hospital as well.

Following the minor’s death, an emergency meeting of political parties, government office chiefs and other stakeholders chaired by Saptari CDO Baldev Gautam was held at District Administration Office, Saptari.

Jha said the meeting decided to administer preventive vaccinations and make the public aware about the disease.

Residents of Saptari headquarters Rajbiraj fear that the disease might break out as the concerned authorities have failed to spray mosquito repellents in the area and while stray pigs roam about freely on the streets of the area.

CDO Gautam stressed the need to launch a pig control campaign as encephalitis can also spread from stray pigs.

Despite repeated efforts, Rajbiraj Municipality has not succeeded in checking stray pigs in the area.

Chairman of Civil Society Saptari, Than Singh Bhansali, said former CDO Hariraj Pant had checked stray pigs five years ago.

“The situation came under control for a few days then,” Bhansali said.