Gorakhpur, Nov 16 (UNI) The Japanese Encephalitis (JE) toll reached 443 today, following three more deaths in eastern Uttar Pradesh in the last 24 hours.
Since January, 2,466 JE patients had been admitted at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College here and other hospitals of the division, of which 443, including 54 Biharis and four Nepalis, succumbed.
Almost 113 patients -- including 21 fresh cases -- are 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 Uttar Pradesh.
Gorakhpur has the dubious distinction 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 had undertaken 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.