Siliguri: The encephalitis toll in northern West Bengal, since May, went up to 13 on Monday with two more deaths reported from the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) here, a health official said.

“Two people from the Dooars region have died today. 10 people in the last 13 days have breathed their last in NBMHC alone,” said college principal Samir Ghosh Ray.

According to data from the medical college, since January this year, at least 30 people have succumbed to encephalitis with a total of 69 cases being reported in the health facility. Among those dead, while 23 were victims of acute encephalitis syndrome, seven got infected by Japanese encephalitis.

The NBMHC has started a new ward for encephalitis infections Monday onwards. It can accommodate 10 men and six women patients.

Another death of an encephalitis infected patient from the district hospital in Jalpaiguri has been reported. However, the doctors are yet to affirm the cause of death.

The disease, which claimed over 250 lives in West Bengal last year, is caused due to bacterial or viral infections of the brain, injection of toxic substances or increased complications of an infectious disease and results in inflammation of the brain and affecting the central nervous system.

While the lesser symptoms include headache and fever, the more severe ones cause the onset of mental issues like seizures, confusion, disorientation, tremors and hallucinations.

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