Gorakhpur, Nov 5 (UNI) The killer vector-borne menace, Japanese Encephalitis (JE), continues to claim lives of children in eastern Uttar Pradesh with the toll mounting to a staggering 405, following four more deaths in the last 24 hours.
Official sources said since January, 2,306 JE patients had been admitted at the famous Baba Raghav Das Medical College here and other district hospitals of the division, of which 405, including 51 hailing from Bihar and four have died.
Almost 164 patients -- including 19 fresh cases -- are 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 UP.
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 disease had affected almost 1,000 people.
The government undertakes a massive vaccination drive against the vector-borne disease every year. However, the efficacy and penetration of the drive has come under cloud with the mounting toll.
The JE issue also echoed in the state Council yesterday. The UP government had said in the state Council that it has undertaken a massive vaccination drive against the deadly disease in Eastern UP.
Replying to the questions raised by members of the teachers group Raj Bahadur Singh Chandel and Dr Wazi D Singh, Leader of the House Swamy Prasad Maurya had said the ruling BSP has undertaken a massive vaccination drive to fight the fatal JE.
Previous year, 68.36 children, under the age of 15 years, were vaccinated in the highly sensitive Gorakhpur, Siddharthnagar, Basti, Maharajganj and three other districts of east UP. This year, 94.99 children in 11 districts had been vaccinated, Mr Maurya had claimed.