At least six people, including children, have died of cerebral malaria and more than 1,000 were afflicted with the disease in Bihar's Munger district, a health official said on Sunday.
District health official R N Pandey said the deaths had taken place in Haveli Kharagpur sub-division of Munger since the last two weeks, when the infections were first reported.
He said nearly 80 villages of Haveli Kharagpur had reported cases of cerebral malaria.
Munger district is about 200 km from Patna.
However, locals in Munger claim that 30 people, including half a dozen children, have died due to cerebral malaria. Health officials have denied this.
District Civil Surgeon K.C. Singh said authorities are doing everything to control and check the spread of the disease. "We are taking all measures on war footing to provide medical care to affected people and spraying DDT in the villages," he said.
Munger district health official B. Sahu said more than 500 people had tested positive for cerebral malaria.
A team of central health officials from New Delhi also visited the affected villages Friday to assess the situation.
The state government has directed the concerned officials to take necessary measures for treatment of patients and to check its spread.