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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 August 2005, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
India flood death toll increases
Health workers spray a neighbourhood
Health officials are trying to contain the spread of disease
Indian health officials say at least 120 people are now known to have died from disease after the recent floods in the western state of Maharashtra.

Officials believe most of the deaths are due to leptospirosis, which is caused by exposure to water contaminated with rats' urine.

More than 5,000 others are ill with cholera and high fever.

The recent floods killed more than 1,000 and affected 20 million others in the state and its capital, Mumbai.

Reports say some hospitals are overwhelmed with the number of patients and have run out of beds.

'No epidemic'

Outbreaks of leptospirosis - an infectious bacterial disease - are known to occur in the monsoon season.

Symptoms can include high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting.

Health officials say they are concerned but there is no threat of an epidemic.

Correspondents say most of the victims live in shantytowns where flood and sewage water had entered homes.

Some 300 medical teams have been sent across the state to combat the spread of disease.

Civic authorities and politicians were severely criticised after the recent flooding for failing to provide proper drainage systems and other flood protection measures.

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See the damage caused by the flooding

Rains disrupt life in south India
02 Aug 05 |  South Asia
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30 Jul 05 |  South Asia
Maharashtra rains leave many dead
26 Jul 05 |  South Asia
Indian villagers tame floods
28 May 04 |  South Asia


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