Encephalitis kills another 25 in India

Lucknow, October 2:

Japanese encephalitis has claimed another 25 lives in India, raising the death toll in South Asia to 1,243 over the last six months, but doctors said new infections were falling as monsoon rains eased and there were fewer puddles for disease-carrying mosquitoes to breed in. About 400 people, mostly children, were being treated for the disease in various hospital across Uttar Pradesh, the worst hit Indian state where at least 907 deaths have been reported in the region’s worst outbreak in decades, said Vijay Shankar Nigam, who heads the state’s communicable disease department. Another 65 people lave died in eastern Bihar state and 271 in Nepal, authorities said.

“Twenty-five people died of encephalitis in the past two days, taking the combined death toll in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to 972,” said Nigam in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state. But he said that with the end of the monsoon season, there had been a decline in the number of new cases. “Twenty-one fresh cases were reported last night across Uttar Pradesh as compared to up to 100 cases (a day) until recent weeks,” Nigam said.