Japanese Encephalitis toll reaches 124

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Gorakhpur, Aug 8 (UNI) The deadly Japanese Encephalitis (JE) toll in Uttar Pradesh has mounted to 124 with the deaths of two more children overnight.

The fresh deaths were reported from Gorakhpur and Kushinagar.

Official sources said since January 1 this year, 630 JE cases had been reported at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College here, of which 124 people, including 15 from Bihar and two from neighbouring country Nepal had died.

In the last 24 hours, 14 fresh JE cases had come to light, while 133 JE patients were still convalescing at various hospitals.

Meanwhile, UP Medical Education secretary Harbhajan Singh today took stock of the situation at Gorakhpur Medical College and issued directions that shortage of medicines should not come in way during the treatment of the ailing.

JE patients mostly hail 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.

Last year, JE had killed over 1,000 people in UP, while the scourge had taken for several thousands of lives in the eastern Uttar Pradesh region over the last decade.

The endemic afflicts eastern UP during the monsoon every year and continues to take people under its jaws till the onset of winters.

The government undertakes massive vaccination drive against the disease every year, however, the efficacy and penetration of the drive comes under cloud with the mounting toll.

UNI JAS GT BST1725

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