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Encephalitis Death Toll in India Rises to Nearly 400

The death toll from an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has risen to nearly 400, most of them children.

On Tuesday, the toll was around 300, but a local health official says dozens of people have been dying daily. Some media reports say the death toll is higher as not all fatalities have been reported.

State chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has called the outbreak a "national calamity" and appealed to the federal government to expedite the import of vaccines.

Reports from the region say hundreds of people were admitted to hospitals this month with symptoms of the disease, which is spread by mosquitos breeding in dirty water puddles created by monsoon rains.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.