Guwahati: With the death of five more patients on Sunday, the toll in Japanese Encephalitis (JE) cases in Assam rose to 76, a National Health Mission (NHM) bulletin stated.

The registered positive JE cases across the state also increased to 348 from 334 on Friday. The five deaths were reported from Darrang, Nalbari, Tinsukia, Kamrup and Udalguri districts, the bulletin said.

Giving the cumulative figures for JE/AES (Acute Encephalitis Syndrome), the bulletin said there were 1350 such cases from January onward this year and the number of deaths is 177.

Measures to control the mosquito borne disease that affects the brain continued to be taken across the state which is currently undergoing a transmission season for Japanese Encephalitis, NHM sources said.

Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma has said the emergency measures taken to combat the JE/AES situation would exist till September 30. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan had on June 30 dispatched a Central team to review the situation in the state.

The health minister also said that his ministry is providing all logistical and technical support to the state government in terms of surveillance and diagnostic kits to strengthen their efforts in addressing Japanese Encephalitis.

Noting that community participation and empowerment are the most crucial in JE prevention, Vardhan urged all the stakeholders to start rigorous awareness campaigns regarding the preventive steps to be taken by the communities.

For rehabilitation of JE disabled patients, the central government has provided funds for the strengthening of two Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR) departments at Dibrugarh Medical College and Guwahati Medical College.