Encephalitis toll hits 1 058 in north India

The official death toll from Japanese encephalitis in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh reached 1 058 on Monday after 12 more children died from the mosquito-borne disease, officials said.

The worst outbreak of the fatal illness in nearly two decades had been expected to peter out with the onset of winter, but about 350 people are still in state-run hospitals.

”Though the influx of patients has dropped, it has not stopped.

Still parents are bringing their sick children to hospitals,” said Lalit Saxena of the BRD Medical College hospital where 163 encephalitis patients are being treated.

Health officials had hoped that with monsoon rains over mosquito breeding grounds would dry up. ”This is not happening. It has not rained for last many days, still we have patients,” he said.

Nearly all the dead were children.

At Lucknow’s King George Medical College hospital, 24 children between the ages of two and 12 are still clinging to life.

Most of the deaths have been reported since July from Gorakhpur district in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state with 180-million people and one of its poorest.

In neighbouring Nepal, the death toll has crossed 250 while another 1 510 were treated for the disease, which causes headaches, seizures and high fever.

Japanese encephalitis first surfaced in Uttar Pradesh in 1978, killing 721 people, and has become endemic. Deaths hit a record 1 228 in 1988. Over 4 000 people have died in the state since the disease first hit. – Sapa-AFP

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

More sabotage at Eskom as Hendrina power station cable is...

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says the saboteurs are ‘obviously’ people working at facility

OPINION | What will power Mthethwa’s erection?

Since Eskom’s a no-go, perhaps our Minister of Monuments’ R22-m flag will be powered on arrogance and self-belief alone

Shutterland: photographers’ journeys through everyday life in South Africa

Through their lenses, 22 South African photographers tell personal stories that show how life in South Africa is built on duality

The Cat enters the ANC fray: David Mabuza speaks out

In an interview with the M&G deputy president David Mabuza ponders his political future but insists ‘it’s the branches that choose the leaders’
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×