Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

7/27/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Catholic Online (

7/27/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Brain fever, India, epidemic, virus strains

(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.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Asia Pacific

David Beckham's eyes water as he recalls one family's tragic loss during Typhoon Haiyan Watch

Image of David Beckham shared one family's story as a UNICEF Ambassador of Goodwill.


Four-year-old Viana was tragically swept out of her father's arms as they struggled with strong flood waters and winds when the deadly Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. Among the many horrifying stories of Filipino families who suffered through the storm, David ... continue reading

China warns US: China will not allow violations of territorial waters Watch

Image of Chinese Navy (


Following the statement from a U.S. defense official on a plan to sail their warships nearer China's artificial land over territorial waters, China said that they won't allow any violation in the name of the freedom of navigation.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Horror in China: Prisoners of Conscience have their organs harvested for 'transplant tourism Watch

Image of Organ theft awareness (Xiaoyan Sun).


Internal organs, like liver and kidneys, even eye corneas, are reportedly being harvested from imprisoned practitioners of the Falun Gong faith, says new documentary. Formed through hard-hitting unbelievable news and first-hand testimonies of former detainees and ... continue reading

BATTLE FOR KUNDUZ: Afghan military pounds city in order to free it from Taliban Watch

Image of The city of Kunduz is a strategic gateway to Central Asia. The battle is serving as one of the Afghan military's biggest tests in its 14-year-long war against the Taliban.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The northern Afghanistan city of Kunduz is under heavy attack as government-led forces attempt to repel Taliban forces. The gunfire is an attempt to secure Afghanistan's sixth-largest city, as well as reverse a humiliating blow to the government's Western-backed ... continue reading

ETERNAL LIFE: Russian researchers report success with 'fountain of youth' bacteria found in permafrost Watch

Image of A number of claims are filed to test the potential of three different strains of bacteria. High on the list is the rejuvenating of the life of living beings.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Permafrost, that growth found in chilly arctic climates may in fact hold the key to eternal - or greatly extended life. Russian scientists say they are experimenting with bacteria found in permafrost in order to find out the reason behind the organism's ... continue reading

STOP FREEDOM OF SPEECH! Bangladeshi Islamist group publishes list of bloggers to 'find and kill' Watch

Image of The most recent murder of an atheist blogger, Niloy Chatterjee, who used the pen name Niloy Neel, occurred in August. Chatterjee was killed in his flat in the capital of Dhaka.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an especially grisly attempt to stifle freedom of speech and expression worldwide, a Bangladeshi Islamist group has published a list of 20 bloggers, calling upon their followers to "find and kill." The bloggers are all from western countries, such as the ... continue reading

Hidden, secret Vatican archives reveal stories of Japan's early persecuted Christians Watch

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican has recently restored documents and letters depicting the struggle of early Japanese Christians. Pope Francis has alluded to these faithful when he spoke of the "hidden Christians" who knew how to keep and pass on the faith in a time of persecution ... continue reading

Beaten as child, Indian activist encourages others to have the 'strength to say no' to child marriage Watch

Image of Eighteen-year-old Rekha Kalindi remembers the time she was 11 years old and brutally beaten by her mother when she refused to submit to marriage with an older man. Today, Kalindi is speaking out against the practice of child marriage,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Eighteen-year-old Rekha Kalindi remembers the time she was 11-years-old and brutally beaten by her mother when she refused to submit to marriage with an older man. Today, Kalindi is speaking out against the practice of child marriage, and has helped initiate a ... continue reading

Japan hit with massive flood following Typhoon Etau Watch

Image of People wait for helicopters to rescue them in the midst of Japan's flood.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

100,000 people lost their homes when Typhoon Etau brought a flood to Joso, a city located north of Tokyo. Thousands have been evacuated and several people have been reported missing. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - The National Police Agency reported no one ... continue reading

Discovered plane debris CONFIRMED as piece of missing MH370 Watch

Image of Debris of the missing MH370 Malaysian flight may have been discovered on an Indian Ocean Island.


Months following the discovery of pieces of what seemed to be the wings of an airplane on an Indian Ocean Island, test results prove that the debris is "with certainty" from the missing MH370 flight. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - French prosecutors ... continue reading

All Asia Pacific News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 1:16-25
16 For I see no reason to be ashamed of the gospel; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:37-41
37 He had just finished speaking when a Pharisee ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 13th, 2015 Image

St. Edward the Confessor
October 13: Edward the Confessor was the son of King Ethelred III and his ... Read More