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Posted Sun Aug 29 2010: from PhysOrg:
Encephalitis kills 215 in India, toll expected to soar
At least 215 people, mostly children, have died in an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in an impoverished region of northern Indian and the death toll is likely to soar, officials said Saturday. Eastern parts of India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh are ravaged by encephalitis each year as malnourished children succumb to the virus which is transmitted by mosquitoes from pigs to humans but this is one of the worst outbreaks, officials said. The deaths of four more children on Saturday pushed the toll to 215, with hundreds sick, some two to a bed, in hospitals in Gorakhpur, a deeply neglected area of 14 million people, regional health officer U.K. Srivastava told AFP by telephone from Gorakhpur. "A total of 1,324 patients had been admitted in hospitals until Saturday in Gorakhpur," which is the epicentre of the outbreak, and "more encephalitis patients are coming into our hospitals," Srivastava said.
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