After tribal-dominated Malkangiri district where Japanese Encephalitis (JE) outbreak has claimed 63 lives, the virus has now been found in pigs of neighbouring Koraput district in Odisha.
Of the 28 blood samples sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute at Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, eight samples tested positive for the JE virus, according to the report received by the Koraput district administration on Wednesday.
Officials said of the eight positive cases, two are from Jayanagar in Jeypore, two from Ghotorla village in Kotpad block and three in Kadalipadar village and one from Chipakur village under Boipariguda block.
"In the second phase, we have sent blood samples of 79 pigs to Bareilly and its report are yet to be received. Also, 40 more blood samples will be sent for laboratory tests," Sub-Divisional Veterinary Officer (Koraput), S K Takri, said.
Awareness drive against the vector-borne disease has already started in the district and JE affected pigs are being kept three kilometres away from the villages in special enclosures, the officer said.
The deadly disease which originates in pigs gets transmitted to humans, particularly children, through mosquitoes, officials said. The disease has so far claimed at least 63 lives in Malkangiri district where six out of seven blocks have been affeced by the disease, they said.