A female Aedes aegypti mosquito is shown in this 2006 CDC photograph
A female Aedes aegypti mosquito is shown in this 2006 Center for Disease Control (CDC) photograph released to Reuters on October 30, 2013.REUTERS/James Gathany

The situation in Malkangiri district of Odisha is not getting better with three more persons succumbing to the killer Japanese Encephalitis virus (JEV) on Wednesday, taking the death toll to 48.

Japanese encephalitis virus is a flavivirus related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses, and is spread by mosquitoes, according to World Health Organisation. It is the main cause of viral encephalitis in many countries of Asia with an estimated 68,000 clinical cases every year.

Chief District Medical Officer U.S. Mishra said on Wednesday that three children admitted in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the district hospital had died, reported IANS. District Collector K. Sudarshan Chakravarthy said that about 61 patients are undergoing treatment for Japanese Encephalitis virus at the hospital with five of them in ICU. He added that 15 children have have been discharged.

Steps are being taken up to control the spreading of the virus. A total of 64 nodal officers have been assigned to oversee the distribution of mosquito nets in the affected areas and submit reports to the DC. However, 22 of them failed to do so on time, for which they have been served a show-cause notice.

Two health workers were suspended last week for alleged dereliction of duties as the administration tries to control the situation on a war footing.

More than 12,000 mosquito nets have been distributed in the affected areas besides fogging and spraying of repellents to stop spreading of the disease.

(With inputs from IANS)