Kolkata, Aug 4 IANS | 5 months ago

The encephalitis outbreak in north Bengal has claimed two more lives in the last 24 hours while the death toll for this year has crossed 200, an official said Monday.

"There have been two deaths due to AES (acute encephalitis syndrome) in the last 24 hours. We have got four new cases of AES and 10 Japanese encephalitis (JE) positive samples from north Bengal," state's director, health services, B.R. Satpathi, told IANS.

He said the total deaths this year are now 203 but dismissed reports of encephalitis spreading out to Kolkata.

In July-August, as many as 90 people have died due to AES while 28 have succumbed to JE, a subset of AES caused by mosquito-borne virus.

Encephalitis is a disease that results in inflammation of the brain, affecting the patient's central nervous system. It can be caused due to bacterial or viral infections of the brain, injection of toxic substances or increased complications of an infectious disease.

While the lesser symptoms include headaches and fevers, the more severe ones cause the onset of mental issues like seizures, confusion, disorientation, tremors and hallucinations.

For JE while human beings are the dead-end hosts of the virus, pigs acts as amplifying hosts that aid in spread of the disease.

(Posted on 04-08-2014)

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