Death toll in Indian encephalitis outbreak rises to 152

PATNA, India (AP) — Authorities say 152 children have now died in an encephalitis outbreak this month in India’s eastern state of Bihar.

India’s Supreme Court on Monday directed the central and state governments to file reports to the court on the outbreak.

A senior health department official in Bihar, Sanjay Kumar, says the epidemic is showing signs of slowing with no new deaths on Monday. The fatalities have occurred in 20 of the state’s 38 districts.

Officials say more than 700 cases of encephalitis have been registered since the outbreak began June 1. Young children are particularly vulnerable to the illness, which can cause swelling of the brain, fever and vomiting.

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Thousands of Indians suffer from encephalitis, malaria, typhoid and other mosquito-borne diseases each year during the summer monsoon season.

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