Siliguri, Aug 4 IANS | 3 months ago

The West Bengal government Monday suspended the principal of the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital for his alleged negligence in connection with the raging encephalitis menace.

"NBMCH principal Anup Kumar Roy has been placed under suspension for his negligence in view of the large number of encephalitis deaths," a health department official said.

Samar Ghosh has been appointed in Roy's place.

Under attack over her government's failure to combat the spread of encephalitis in northern West Bengal, ChiefMminister Mamata Banerjee July 25 suspended three other senior officials, blaming them for keeping the higher-ups in the dark about the menace.

Suspension notices were slapped on Darjeeling Chief Medical Officer (Health) Subir Bhowmik, his Jalpaiguri counterpart Jagannath Sarkar and North Bengal Medical College and Hospital superintendent Amarendranath Sarkar.

The opposition parties had then cried foul, ridiculing the chief minister - who also holds the health portfolio - for not being in the know about the disaster.

In July-August, as many as 90 people have died due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) while 28 have succumbed to Japanese encephalitis (JE) in North Bengal.

Two more people succumbed to the encephalitis outbreak over the last 24 hours and the toll for this year has risen to 203, an official said Monday.

Encephalitis is a disease that results in inflammation of the brain, affecting the patient's central nervous system. It can be caused due to bacterial or viral infections of the brain, injection of toxic substances or increased complications of an infectious disease.

While the lesser symptoms include headaches and fevers, the more severe ones cause the onset of mental issues like seizures, confusion, disorientation, tremors and hallucinations.

JES is caused by a mosquito-borne virus. While human beings are the dead-end hosts of the virus, pigs acts as amplifying hosts that aid in spread of the disease.

(Posted on 05-08-2014)

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