Sunday, Mar 1, 2015Sunday, Mar 1, 2015

Encephalitis kills 60 in eastern India in fortnight

Published on Jul 22, 2014 2:34 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - An outbreak of encephalitis has killed 60 people in two weeks in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, a top health official has said, calling the situation "alarming".

Hundreds of mainly children die across India each year from the mosquito-borne virus, but West Bengal is not normally one of the worst-hit states.

Only five people died last year in West Bengal from Japanese encephalitis, one form of the virus which normally hits during the monsoon season when mosquitos breed.

West Bengal health services director Biswaranjan Satpathy said late on Monday there had been a sudden spike in cases and deaths between July 7 and 20.

If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here