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'Infertility from vaccine' rumours create panic like situation in lower Assam's schools, State government orders probe

Review Nepal
  Kathmandu, Nepal      May 17 2017


Guwahati : Assam Health and Family Welfare department on Tuesday ordered a probe against the persons who spreading rumours about a vaccine that could lead to infertility on social media which triggered panic among the people in many districts in lower Assam in past two days. 
In past 48 hours, students of several government run schools in remote areas of Kamrup, Barpeta, Nalbari districts of lower Assam left school and taken away by their parents after the rumours. 
Apart from the these districts, the rumours also triggered in Guwahati. 
On Tuesday, students of a government run school at Notboma in the capital city of Assam left school following the rumours. 
Following the incident, Assam Health department had ordered a high level probe into the issue. 
Commissioner and Secretary of Assam Health department Samir Sinha said that, the state government has taken the matter very seriously and initiated a probe. 
"The state government will take stern action against the persons who spreading the rumours among the people," Samir Sinha said. 
"The state health department has already sent a letter to the DGP regarding this matter," Sinha said. 
The state health department is carrying out a vaccination drive against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in Morigaon, Nalbari, Bongaigaon and Cachar districts from April 30 to May 20. 
There is no specific vaccination drives being carried out in schools, but the rumours triggered panic among the people specially in minority-dominated areas in the lower Assam districts. 
Assam witnessed 779 deaths in JE between 2010 and 2016 and recorded 3391 positive JE cases during the period. 
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)