Gorakhpur, Oct 9 (UNI) The killer vector-borne menace, Japanese Encephalitis (JE), continued to claim lives of children in eastern Uttar Pradesh with the toll mounting to a staggering figure of 281, following six more deaths in the last 24 hours.
Sources said, since January, the deadly JE had claimed 281 lives including 36 Biharis and three Nepalis, at the famous Baba Raghav Das Medical College.
Almost 260 patients -- including 20 fresh cases -- are still in remission.
The JE patients trickle from Gorakhpur, Deoria, Maharajganj, Sant Kabirnagar, Kushinagar, Ballia, Gonda, Bahraich, Mau, Basti, Siddharthnagar, Azamgarh, Gonda and Balrampur districts of Uttar Pradesh.
Gorakhpur has the dubious distiction of being the JE epicentre in the region. The endemic afflicts eastern UP during monsoon every year. Last year, the fatal disease had taken almost 1,000 people under its jaws.
The government undertakes a massive vaccination drive against the vector-borne disease every year, however, the efficacy and penetration of the drive comes under cloud with the mounting toll.