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GAUHATI, India (AP) _ The northeastern Indian state of Assam sought federal help Friday after an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis killed at least 80 people, mostly children, in the last month.
An additional 140 people have been treated for the disease since early July at the Assam Medical College, college principal Nandita Choudhury said. Many more people in Assam’s remote villages may have contracted it.
The Assam government wants federal health agencies to rush encephalitis vaccine to the area. A single dose costs about $60, far too expensive for many residents.
``Without it being made available to us by federal agencies, we cannot buy them on our own,″ said Kalyani Das, Assam’s health director.
Encephalitis causes inflammation of the brain tissue, and symptoms can include high fever, headache, and paralysis. The disease is transmitted via mosquitoes.