Kolkata, Aug 19 IANS | 3 months ago

The encephalitis outbreak in West Bengal this year has so far claimed 254 lives, an official said Tuesday claiming that the situation is now "under control".

According to B.R. Satpathi, director of state health services, 254 Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) deaths have been reported since January. Of these, 45 deaths were due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE).

JE is a subset of AES caused by the mosquito-borne virus.

The number of deaths this year due to AES in north Bengal is 169.

Three suspected cases have been reported in the past two days.

"The situation is under control now," Satpathi told IANS.

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 headache and fever, 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 act as amplifying hosts that aid in spread of the disease.

(Posted on 19-08-2014)

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