Over 200 dead as Japanese encephalitis spreads further in India

The outbreak of Japanese encephalitis has now spread further in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

Health officials say the disease is spreading to areas beyond affected districts in the east of the state and they believe more could have been done to prevent the disease.

It is now known that more than 200 people have died in the outbreak of the disease in Uttar Pradesh.

Although there is no specific cure for the mosquito-borne disease which has killed thousands in India since 1978, health experts are complaining that red-tape has prevented the development of a more effective vaccine.

According to doctors in the worst-affected area of Gorkahpur, 214 people have already died from the disease in the district.

In the state capital, Lucknow, doctors at a hospital say that 20 people who had been admitted with the disease from other areas in the state, had also died.

More than 500 people, mostly children, have been treated for the disease, which occurs regularly during India's monsoon in the last two or three weeks.

Doctors say children between the age of six months to 15 years are the worst-affected.

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