Encephalitis kills 22

Published: Saturday 30 September 2000

at least 22 people have died in eastern Uttar Pradesh ( up ) in the past two months because of Japanese encephalitis, which is commonly known as brain fever. A mosquito borne, viral disease, it is prevalent in water logged areas of the state having poor sanitation. Despite the disease being recurrent the state government has failed to take appropriate steps to control it. Many districts of the state are not even equipped with basic facilities to diagnose and treat encephalitis. The disease is characterised by inflammation and swelling of the brain, which can lead to a various neurological disorders and ultimately death.

States like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, following the remedial measures recommended by National Institute of Virology have been able to control encephalitis. But up still lags behind in this regard due to a negligent attitude of the officials. Scarcity of the vaccine is another reason for the spread of the disease. The vaccine is manufactured only at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh, and is inadequate to meet the demands of the whole country.

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