Update 2: 8/29/08 -- It may be encephalitis
Update 8/27/08 -- 35 more have died
“We really don’t know what exactly it is; we are depending on the finding of a team of specialists from New Delhi.”
R.C. Agarwal, chief medical officer, Uttar Pradesh, India. source
“It” is a deadly virus that in two weeks has spread to 350 villages in northern India. So far, the mystery virus has taken 160 lives. Specialists from New Delhi’s Infectious Disease and Surveillance Program have collected the blood samples of a few patients, and will release its findings in a few days.
But now, a panic-induced exodus from the affected villages have left schools closed, and basic services at a standstill. Thousands are bed-ridden, with an average of 15 to 20 deaths per day.
Kanpur, on the Ganges River, is the closest major city. Some 4.1 million people in the immediate area could be affected.