In Indian state Uttar Pradesh, the death toll due to encephalitis has mounted to 466 this year as eight more children succumbed to the disease during past two days in Gorakhpur.
Indian official sources reports that 24 fresh encephalitis patients have been admitted to the government hospitals of eastern UP during past two days.
This year as many as 2302 encephalitis cases have been reported so far out of which 156 were tested positive for Japanese Encephalitis, JE, while rest were of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome which is caused due to consumption of contaminated water.
Japanese Encephalitis is caused due to mosquito bite. Japanese encephalitis is a viral disease that infects animals and humans. It is transmitted by mosquitoes and in humans causes inflammation of the membranes around the brain.
Intensification and expansion of irrigated rice production systems in South and South-East Asia over the past 20 years have had an important impact on the disease burden caused by Japanese encephalitis. Where irrigation expands into semi-arid areas, the flooding of the fields at the start of each cropping cycle leads to an explosive build-up of the mosquito population. This may cause the circulation of the virus to spill over from their usual hosts (birds and pigs) into the human population.