JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS (JE) continues to wreck havoc with lives in eastern UP. The body count crossed the 100 mark with the death of 14 patients in various districts on Thursday.
While the killer virus has already infected 580 children, 117 of them have died. The virus has spread its tentacles in 12 districts but Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria and Maharajganj are the worst hit.
In Gorakhpur, the death toll was 22, while 148 children were in the grip of the disease.
Kushinagar is not far behind where 131 children have been infected with the JE virus and 29 have died.
In Deoria, 54 children have been infected and seven of them have died. In Maharajganj district 87 children have fallen ill and 17 were reported dead.
Other districts in which JE cases were reported include Balrampur, Gonda, Mau, Azamgarh, Ballia, Basti, Siddharthnagar and Sant Kabir Nagar.
The Health Department officials said that among the ailing children, 96 were from neighbouring Bihar and 18 of them had died.
With the SGPGIMS confirmed that along with JE, Coxsackie virus was also infecting children and the Medical Health Department was preparing action plan to deal with the disease. The health officials said the lab test for identification of the virus was costly. “We have to provide adequate kits to ensure that the serum of all the patients is tested,” the officials said.
Meanwhile, the doctors at BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur said two new viruses ‘Ebsteinbarr’ and ‘Reys’ were also infecting the vulnerable kids. On the request of the State Medical Health Department, a team from the National Institute of Virology, Pune visited Gorakhpur on August 21 to collect samples of the patients.
“With the assistance of the NIV experts, we will be able to identify the killer virus active in the region,” the officials said.
Another team of experts from the National Institute of Communicable Disease, New Delhi, will be visiting Gorakhpur on Friday. This team will also study on the killer virus active in the districts of East Uttar Pradesh.