Agartala, June 29 (IANS): A malaria epidemic has killed at least 55 people, including 46 children, in Tripura this month while thousands have fallen ill, officials said here on Sunday.
"At least 55 people, including 46 children, have died in malaria since the first week of June," a health department spokesperson said.
"Over 70,400 have fallen ill in malaria and fever after the outbreak of the disease. Of the 70,400 ill people, malaria germ was found in the blood of over 12,000," the spokesperson told reporters.
The outbreak of malaria and fever were reported from the tribal-dominated mountainous areas of 11 sub-divisions under five districts - Dhalai, Gomti, Khowai, North Tripura and South Tripura.
All the affected people have been admitted to government hospitals. Of the 55 deaths, over 40 percent died in their homes.
Health department sources said the unofficial death toll stands at 85.
A team of experts from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme led by its special director Awadesh Kumar last week visited malaria affected areas.
According to NVBDCP, malaria claimed 1,018 lives in 2010 in India, 754 in 2011, 519 in 2012 and 440 in 2013.