Assam in the grip of brain fever

FORTY-FOUR people died of Japanese encephalitis, a viral infection, at the Assam Medical College Hospital in Dibrugarh on July 28. The same day another 68 patients suffering from the viral disease were admitted to the hospital that receives patients from across the state. T R Borborah, principal of the medical college, confirmed the deaths.

Health officials in Assam said the disease has taken epidemic form in Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Jorhat, Sibsagar, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts and has infected nearly 1,000 people. The state health department has put the death toll at 75, but unofficial reports say 100 people have died of Japanese encephalitis in upper Assam.