Skip to content

India battles to contain 'brain fever' as death toll approaches 570

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation
7/27/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In West Bengal, at least 111 people have died from both strains

Almost 570 people in India have died after contracting encephalitis, commonly known as "brain fever," health authorities said on Friday, warning the death toll may rise further.

Floods also lead to the contamination of water sources such as wells, leaving many people with no option but to use the same dirty water for both drinking and washing.

Floods also lead to the contamination of water sources such as wells, leaving many people with no option but to use the same dirty water for both drinking and washing.

Highlights

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/27/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Brain fever, India, epidemic, virus strains


span id="tab-container-landscape">(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Outbreaks of both Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis are common during India's monsoon season and claim hundreds of lives each year. But this year, major outbreaks - usually most concentrated in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar - have spread to other regions such as West Bengal and Assam - killing 568 people. Live Catholic, Shop Catholic -- by going here --
In West Bengal, where at least 111 people have died from both strains, a senior health official said authorities were taking emergency steps to contain the outbreak. "We have sounded an alert in seven districts and cancelled the leave of all health department officials," West Bengal's Health Services Director B.R. Satpathy told Thomson Reuters Foundation. Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, caused by any one of a number of viruses, says the World Health Organization. Symptoms include high fever, vomiting and, in severe cases, seizures, paralysis and coma. Infants and elderly people are particularly vulnerable. It is most often caused from eating or drinking contaminated food or water, from mosquito or other insect bites, or through breathing in respiratory droplets from an infected person. The virus most commonly occurs in poor, flood-hit areas, where monsoons have left pools of stagnant water, allowing mosquitoes to breed and infect villagers. Floods also lead to the contamination of water sources such as wells, leaving many people with no option but to use the same dirty water for both drinking and washing. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said last month he was extremely distressed by the "runaway conquest of encephalitis" and ordered all children in vulnerable states to be vaccinated against the virus and for a proportion of hospital beds to be dedicated to encephalitis patients. In 2012, the Indian government launched a national program to prevent and control the virus. This included more widespread vaccination programs, strengthening surveillance and improving access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities. There were 1,273 deaths in India due to encephalitis in 2013 compared to 440 deaths from malaria and 193 from dengue fever, government statistics show.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MARCH 2017
Support for Persecuted Christians.
That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.


Comments


More Asia Pacific

Newborn rescued from shallow grave as India murders its daughters Watch

Image of  baby girl's feet were found sticking up from the earth.

A rash of baby deaths has hit India, where baby boys are prized and coddled while baby girls are buried alive. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Why were police forced to fire tear gas outside an Indonesian church? Watch

Image of Angry Muslims protested the Catholic church's construction.

Parishioners were caught within the walls of their new church in Bekasi city, Indonesia, as several hundred members of the Forum for Bekasi ... continue reading


Malaysian Pastor abducted for helping Muslims Watch

Image of Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted after helping a Muslim.

Malaysian Pastor Raymond Koh was on his way to a friend's home in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, the morning of February 13. LOS ... continue reading


Is Trump about to attack North Korea? Watch

Image of The USS Carl Vinson has arrived in South Korea to participate in exercises.

Observers are concerned that the United States and her allies are about to strike North Korea while using annual exercises as cover. The ... continue reading


Philippine House of Representatives makes shocking approval - Bishops 'overcome with grief' Watch

Image of Philippine bishops call Catholic lawyers, judges and jury members to fight the death penalty.

The Philippines House of Representatives took a giant leap back when they voted to bring a dead (for good reason) law back to life. LOS ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.