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Deadly illness breaks out in India

08-04-2011 14:39 BJT

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A viral disease called Japanese encephalitis has killed more than 107 people in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state. Most of the victims are children.

Encephalitis is caused by mosquitoes that breed in polluted water. Therefore, hygiene is an important factor in combating the disease. The state health department says it has taken preventive measures such as immunization drives, and spraying of mosquito-repellents in affected areas.

R. N. Singh, child specialist, said, "Still 90 percent people use open fields for defecation, which pollutes the water. During the rainy season, the polluted water soaks into the ground and gets mixed with underground water. And then people drink the water from the shallow hand pumps, then they ingest the lethal material."

More than 700 patients have been admitted to the city's Bada Raghav Das Medical College since January.

Balwant Kumar, patient's relative, said, "Around 40 to 50 patients get admitted in medical college daily, out of which four to five children lose their lives everyday."

The disease has now affected several cities in India's Uttar Pradesh and some areas in the adjoining eastern state of Bihar. Media reports says more than 7,000 people have died of encephalitis in the last 32 years at the Gorakhpur Medical College hospital. Symptoms include headache, fever, fatigue and inflammation of the brain. Infants and the elderly people are particularly at risk.

 

Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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