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26 Sep 2014

The health department has set up clinics across affected areas and is trying to prevent breeding of mosquitoes by fogging, especially around pig farms, where there is a high risk of contracting the virus. Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, caused by any one of a number of viruses, says the World Health Organisation. Symptoms include high fever, vomiting and, in severe cases, seizures, paralysis and coma. Infants and elderly people are particularly vulnerable. It is most often caused by eating or drinking contaminated food or water, from mosquito or other insect bites, or through breathing in respiratory droplets from an infected person. Outbreaks of the virus tend to occur in poor, flood-hit areas, where monsoons have left pools of stagnant water, allowing mosquitoes to breed and infect villagers. Floods also lead to the contamination of clean water sources such as wells, leaving many people with no option but to use the same dirty water for both drinking and sanitation.
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