Gorakhpur, Sep 5 (ANI): At least 220 are feared dead following an outbreak of encephalitis in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur District.
Doctors said that children between the ages of six months to 15 years have been the worst affected and most victims are poor people from rural areas.
Hundreds of children and malnourished patients have been admitted to hospitals for treatment, exposing the rickety medical facilities in the region.
"The situation is not good. Till now, at least 220 people have succumbed to the disease, as per government reports. However, the actual toll could be much higher. The situation is bad," said Brajesh Singh, a relative of one of the patients.
"This is because the preparations to tackle the outbreak are unsatisfactory. There are not enough medicines and doctors are overburdened. That is why they have not been behaving with the patients properly," he added.
The overflow of patients, many of whom are in a critical condition, has raised fears among the medical fraternity, who are battling an acute shortage of doctors and infrastructure support.
"In the last few hours, at least 17-18 children have died. Many more have been admitted and their condition is set to be critical. Doctors and nurses are not available for treatment, and neither is any bed vacant for serious cases," said Kamlesh Kumar, a local.
According to doctors, the death rate due to encephalitis is 28-56 percent.
Many survivors are left mentally or physically handicapped. By Pawan Kumar Shah (ANI)