Gorakhpur, Oct 13 (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 303, following five more deaths in the last 24 hours.
Sources said almost 197 patients -- including 24 fresh cases -- are still in remission at the famous Baba Raghav Das Medical College here and other district hospitals.
So far, 40 Biharis and three Nepalis have also died of the killer JE.
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 Uttar Pradesh during monsoon every year. Last year, the killer 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.