The deaths of over 200 people, mostly children, due to an outbreak of viral encephalitis were confirmed by health officials in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
Symptoms associated with encephalitis include headache, fever, convulsions, drowsiness, fatigue and the inflammation of the brain.
So far, 800 patients have been admitted to the Gorakhpur District Hospital for treatment.
The hospital's Chief Medical Officer (CMO), M P Singh, said the death toll is expected to rise due to the spread of the disease.
"Even now, there are 170 patients, suffering from encephalitis, who are under medication. Apart from these patients, our doctors are also treating other 250 patients suffering from encephalitis. So out of the 400 patients, 160 patients are being treated for encephalitis," he said.
The disease occurs regularly during the monsoon season in the Gorakhpur.
The Principal of Gorakhpur Medical College, K P Kushwaha, said the primary reason for the disease could be the presence of the water-borne virus in contaminated water.
"People should take care of their sanitation and also make sure that their surroundings are kept neat and clean. They should also check there is no unwanted and dirty water accumulation in the nearby areas. The drinking water should be kept dirt free. By being careful about all these measures not only encephalitis but also many diseases can be controlled," said Kushwaha.
Encephalitis is caused by mosquitoes that breed in stagnant water. Therefore, hygiene becomes essential in preventing the disease from spreading.