August 18, 2009

Dozens dead in India of encephalitis

An outbreak of Japanese encephalitis has killed dozens of people in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state since the beginning of this year, officials said.

The deaths have mostly been reported in the eastern parts of India's largest state, the BBC reported.

A senior health official told the BBC 640 people had been admitted to hospitals for the disease and of them 129 had died, a majority of them children.

Locally, Japanese encephalitis, which is caused by a virus and spread to humans by infected mosquitoes, is called brain fever as it causes inflammation of the brain tissue.

There has extensive breeding of mosquitoes due to flooding in the regions.