Indian filmmaker dies of rare brain disease

October 28, 2023

An Indian filmmaker respected within his industry has died of a rare brain infection. 

Kamal Bora died in Kanpur, a city in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, on Thursday from Japanese encephalitis.

Indian director dies

His greatest claim to fame is the 1984 movie Kokadeuta Nati Aru Hati, which he co-produced and appeared in as an actor.

The movie featured Assam's chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and is considered a classic in the Assamese movie industry, also known as Bollywood.

Although he was treated at a hospital, he succumbed to the incurable illness in the morning Thursday.

Japanese encephalitis is a very rare infectious disease often found in rural parts of Asia that spreads through mosquito bites. The disease, which has no cure, causes swelling of the brain, which can be deadly.

Rare disease

It is the leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia and is related to diseases like dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile viruses. There are roughly 70,000 cases around the world every year and up to 20,000 deaths annually.

Most cases are mild, but severe cases can cause fever, headache, seizure, coma, and death. Those who survive it can be left with permanent neurological damage.

There is no cure for the disease, but symptoms can be managed.

Health risk

India struggles with public hygiene standards, an issue that is linked to the spread of infectious diseases. India is a hotspot for serious diseases that have been largely eradicated in the West, such as tuberculosis, malaria, and typhoid.

India's population of 1.4 billion people overtook China's this year to become the largest of any nation in the world.

Indian nationals are among the influx of immigrants coming across the U.S. southern border, which has seen a historic number of people from all parts of the world enter illegally. The crisis has raised health concerns, even as the U.S. is moving past the COVID pandemic that upended millions of lives.

Infectious disease expert Linda Yancy told Fox News that Texas is a tuberculosis hotspot, with most cases originating in Africa and India.

"Tuberculosis is quite common in Texas, especially in the big cities," she told Fox News Digital. "Houston is an international port of entry, so we get people from TB-endemic areas coming here frequently."

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