Gorakhpur, Jun 20 (UNI) Along with eastern Uttar Pradesh, people of neighbouring Nepal and Bihar were fearing the spread of vector-borne Japanese Encephalitis (JE) this year again with the onset of the monsoon season.
The endemic disease afflicts eastern UP during monsoon every year and continues to take people in its jaws till the onset of winter.
JE mostly targets children aged between one and 14 yrs.
Medical Health and Family Welfare Department Additional Director Dr L P Rawat today told UNI, ''Till now, 246 people were admitted to the Baba Raghavdas Medical College here due to the disease, of whom 61 have died.'' Of the deceased, nine hailed from Nepal and Bihar, he added.
Fourteen people were still being treated in hospital, he informed adding, most of the patients mostly trickle in from Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Sant Kabirnagar, Deoria, Kushinagar, Basti, Siddharthnagar, Azamgarh, Gonda, Bahraich, Mau, Ballia and Balrampur districts of UP.
Gorakhpur has the dubious distiction of being the JE epicentre in the region.
Mostly, the menace of mosquitoes is maximum from June to September.
In 2006, JE had killed almost 1,000 people in UP, while the scourge has accounted for several thousands of lives in the eastern Uttar Pradesh region over the last decade.
The government undertakes massive vaccination drive against the disease every year.
UNI JAS AM UCS1527