Gorakhpur, Dec 25 (UNI) The killer vector-borne menace Japanese Encephalitis (JE) continued to target children in eastern Uttar Pradesh with the toll mounting to 538, following one more overnight death.
Since January, 2,782 JE patients have been admitted at the famous Baba Raghav Das Medical College here and other hospitals of the division, of which 538, including 63 Biharis and five Nepalis, succumbed.
Almost 39 patients -- including four fresh cases -- were 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 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 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.