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More Than 1,000 Dead in Encephalitis Outbreaks

Officials in India and Nepal say an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in the two South Asian countries has now killed more than 1,000 people over the past several months.

Authorities say the outbreak has killed at least 767 people in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, which borders on Nepal. There have been at least 252 fatalities reported in the Himalayan kingdom.

The illness has also sickened more than 1,500 people in Nepal.

Authorities have been distributing mosquito netting and spraying insecticides to prevent a further spread of the illness.

Humans can contract Japanese encephalitis through bites from infected mosquitoes. The illness attacks the membranes around the brain and causes high fever, disorientation, coma and seizures. It is preventable through vaccines, which may be too costly or inaccessible to people living in poor, remote areas.

Some information in this story provided by AP and AFP.