Threat of Japanese encephalitis looms over Gorakhpur
April 9, 2012 - Gorakhpur
The threat of Japanese encephalitis loomed large over Uttar Pradesh Gorakhpur District, claiming at least 45 lives, even though the administration has upgraded healthcare centres to ensure rehabilitation and cure for the affected.
Locals have attributed the spread of the epidemic to lack of vaccination this year. They contended that in the absence of proper preventive vaccination, a new kind of encephalitis virus is doing the rounds.
"The patients who are coming to the hospital are not receiving the right kind of treatment, the right kinds of facilities are not being provided and the hospital must make sure that the poor people get appropriate treatment. Due to all this, the patients have to suffer a lot," said Raju Prasad, a patient.
On the other hand, the doctors portrayed an altogether different picture, adding that all the arrangements have been made by hospital authorities to tackle the situation.
"We have about 300 to 400 patients at the same time. So, when the month of August begins, there are a few cases of encephalitis, then September and October, the number of patients rises and November onwards, the number of cases decline. There are a few cases at present, so it is not something to really worry about. We have all the arrangements for the treatment of the disease and we are helping the patients. It is the faith of the people that brings them to us," said B.M.Katoch, a doctor.
According to doctors, the death rate due to encephalitis is 28 to 56 percent. And unfortunately, those who survive may have to endure life as mentally or physically challenged persons.
Encephalitis is caused by mosquitoes that breed in stagnant water. Therefore, hygiene becomes essential in preventing the disease from spreading.
The symptoms of encephalitis include headache, fever, convulsions, drowsiness, fatigue and the inflammation of the brain.