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UP brain fever: 103 new cases, death toll up to 324

August 30, 2005 21:31 IST

More than 100 new cases of Japanese encephalitis were reported on Tuesday even as the death toll rose to 324 and the Uttar Pradesh health department requisitioned 72 lakh vials of vaccine to deal with the epidemic.

Union Minister of State for Home Shri Prakash Jaiswal met UP Principal Secretary (Health) Dipti Vilas and other officials to chalk out a strategy to deal with the situation after visiting the BRD Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday morning.

Brain fever image: 'Somebody save my son'

He said the department had made a demand for 72 lakh vials of anti-encephalitis vaccine which would be made available "very soon" even if it had to be imported.

Jaiswal, however, ticked off the state government for not formally informing the Centre about the severity of the epidemic.

"A total of 103 fresh cases of JE were admitted to BRD-MC on Tuesday," Additional Director (Health) D P Mishra said, adding that the official death toll since the outbreak of the disease had gone up to 324.

Since the outbreak in July, 1240 people have been admitted to various hospitals with over 300 patients currently undergoing treatment in 5 JE wards at of BRD-MC and 25 admitted to the district hospital, Gorakhpur.

At least 50 patients each, mostly children below 14 years of age, were admitted in district hospitals in Maharajganj, Basti, Siddharthnagar and Kushinagar in eastern UP, infected with the disease, which had now cut a swath into neighbouring Bihar and Nepal.

Brain fever image: 'Somebody save my son'

Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad, who visited BRD-MC, told reporters that JE had reached "epidemic proportions" in eastern UP and called for a national-level programme to eradicate the disease.

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