Encephalitis claims 75 lives in Gorakhpur, UP
An outbreak of Japanese encephalitis has affected more than 300 and claimed lives of 75 people in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
The disease usually occurs during the monsoon season. Uttar Pradesh reports cases of encephalitis every year, and it is mostly children who succumb to this disease.
The disease, which is spreading slowly across other states, had also claimed more than 50 lives in West Bengal.
"The information that we have received from the director mentions that Uttar Pradesh has 315 people affected by the disease out of which 75 are dead. But, if you also add the casualties that have come from other places like Nepal and Bihar, 424 are affected by the disease till date and 108 have died due to the disease," said General Manager, National Programme, National Health Mission, Uttar Pradesh, Dr. Anil Kumar Mishra on Tuesday.
To prevent deaths caused by the fatal disease, the UP Government has converted 100 of its primary health institutes to encephalitis treatment centre which will have the disease experts and the doctors will remain on duty round the clock.
This year the government has also started emergency numbers - 102 and 108 - for the immediate treatment of encephalitis patients. The number has been allotted specifically to call an ambulance for the patients suffering from the disease.
"Our priority is to reduce the number of patients. Also, as there is more awareness about the disease, more patients will come to the hospital. We are taking all possible control and prevention measures. We are trying our best that whoever comes to the hospital is not paralyzed by the disease, and save as many people as we can," added Dr. Mishra.
In spite of the measures taken, the number of patients in the hospitals is increasing even though the percentage of death by encephalitis disease has decreased this year.
It was reported that over the years 33 percent of people died due to the disease. However, this year it has been recorded at 24 percent.
Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain and can be caused by both viral and bacterial infections. Caused by Japanese encephalitis virus, it is more prevalent in the region than other forms of the illness.
The mosquito-borne disease can cause fever, convulsions and coma and is more likely to kill children than adults.
The virus affects membranes around the brain and usually causes mild symptoms, but can lead to brain damage and death. It is the leading cause of childhood encephalitis and viral encephalitis in Asia.
(Posted on 23-07-2014)