Japanese Encephalitis, Enterovirus Encephalitis kills 400 in flood-hit northern India

Health Authorities have reported more than 400 deaths due to encephalitis (brain inflammation) in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. More than 2,000 cases have been recorded in the last three months. The specific cause of these illnesses is not specified.

Encephalitis is most often caused by a virus. In this case, two viruses are suspected, Japanese encephalitis virus that is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and Enteroviruses that are transmitted by consuming contaminated food and water. This year's monsoons have left pools of stagnant water that contaminate drinking water and allow mosquitoes to breed and infect villagers.

Travellers in this area should consider vaccination against Japanese encephalitis and take all necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites and to avoid consuming contaminated food and water.

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

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