(rpts correcting figure)

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Gorakhpur, Nov 11 (UNI) The Japanese Encephalitis (JE) toll in Uttar Pradesh has mounted to a staggering figure of 331 with the death of one more child today.

Joint director Health Dr Umakant Prasad said so far, 1,728 people suffering from the killer disease had been rushed to the Baba Raghav Das Medical College here.

Almost 69 patients -- including 6 fresh cases -- are still under treatment.

The JE patients hail from Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Sant Kabirnagar, Deoria, Kushinagar, Basti, Siddharthnagar, Azamgarh, Gonda and Balrampur district of UP.

At least 207 cases pertain to Bihar, while Nepal accounts for 8 JE cases reported so far. Of the 314 JE deaths, 45 victims were from Bihar.

Gorakhpur has the dubious distiction of being the JE epicentre in the region. The endemic afflicts eastern UP during the monsoon every year.

The government had undertaken a massive vaccination drive against the vector-borne disease, however, the efficacy and penetration of the drive has come under a cloud with the mounting toll.


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