Japanese Encephalitis claims 9 more lives; toll at 145

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Gorakhpur, Aug 16 (UNI) The deadly Japanese Encephalitis (JE) claimed lives of nine more children in the last 24 hours, raising the toll to 145.

The fresh death was reported from Kushinagar, Maharajganj, where two children sucummbed, whereas one each died in Deori, Basti, Siddharthnagar, Gorakhpur and Mau.

At least 33 fresh cases were reported today, while 163 JE patients were still convalescing at various hospitals.

JE patients mostly trickle 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 the State, while the scourage has accounted for several thousands of lives in the eastern Uttar Pradesh region over the last decade.

The endemic afflicts eastern UP during 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.

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