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The worst outbreak of encephalitis

Seven districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh were virtually ravaged by JE this year and the death toll touched a high.

india Updated: Sep 24, 2005 20:58 IST

Seven districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh were virtually ravaged by Japanese Encephalitis (JE) this year and the death toll touched a high.

The outbreak of encephalitis is common in the rainy season in eastern UP since the last 27 years. But, the situation was the worst this time. In the last 50 days, the killer disease claimed 763 lives in seven districts of Gorkhpur and Basti divisions. Despite this, it was not officially declared an epidemic.

Though the monsoon will continue for two to three more weeks, the death rate has declined due to improved management and standardised treatment at the medical college. In 2004, 215 patients succumbed to the disease. This year, the death toll is just three times more than the previous record. Gorakhpur district emerged as the worst-affected as 142 deaths were recorded in the district since the outbreak of disease. In the district, 585 patients were affected by the disease. Kushinagar stood second with 136 deaths. As many as 672 patients were brought here for treatment.

Maharajganj district was also in grip of the disease as 458 patients were brought here for treatment and 124 died. There were 72 deaths in Deoria, 41 in Basti, 71 in Siddharth Nagar 71 and 28 in Sant Kabir Nagar district of Basti division since the outbreak of the disease.

The shortage of the doctors at the medical college continued. Resident doctors brought here from various medical colleges have gone back to their native places. In view of the shortage of doctors, head of the paediatrics department Dr AK Rathi has written a letter to the medical college principal to provide two senior advisors.