Gorakhpur, Sep 17 (UNI) Deadly vector-borne menace, Japanese Encephalitis (JE), continued to claim lives of children in eastern Uttar Pradesh with the toll mounting to 159, following six more deaths in the last 48 hours.
According to government sources, since January 2004 JE patients had been admitted at the famous Baba Raghav Das Medical College here and several district hospitals, of which 159, including 16 Biharis succumbed.
Almost 230 patients including 41 fresh cases are in remission.
The JE patients trickled from Gorakhpur, Deoria, Maharajganj, Sant Kabirnagar, Kushinagar, Ballia, Gonda, Bahraich, Mau, Basti, Siddharthnagar, Azamgarh, Gonda and Balrampur districts of UP.
Gorakhpur has a dubious distiction of being the JE epicentre in the region. The endemic afflicts eastern UP during monsoon every year. Last year, the killer disease had taken almost 1,000 people under its jaws.
Every year the government undertakes a massive vaccination drive against the vector-borne disease, however, the efficacy and penetration of the drive comes under cloud with the mounting toll.