Deadly encephalitis outbreak continues in Uttar Pradesh, India (update)

At least 390 people, mostly children, have been died in the on-going outbreak of viral encephalitis in Uttar Pradesh. More than 2,500 patients have been hospitalised in government hospitals in Gorakhpur. In the last 11 days, the number of deaths has increased to 433.

A specific cause for the encephalitis has not been reported yet. Acute encephalitis (brain inflammation) is often associated with polluted water containing a variety of viruses called enteroviruses. These viruses might be responsible for some of the cases. At other times, Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) may also be causing a portion of these illnesses. Travellers to this area can reduce their risk of exposure to Japanese encephalitis virus by taking all necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites and by following food and water precautions to avoid enteroviruses. Vaccination against Japanese encephalitis should be considered.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis.

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