Encephalitis death toll rises to 100 in Bihar

18 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Patna: Acute Encephalitis Syndrome has claimed the lives of 100 children in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur in the last 16 days. Nearly 300 children have been admitted to the Intensive Care Units of the two local hospitals.

According to official data, 83 children have died at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), while 17 have lost their lives in Kejriwal Hospital in the city.

Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is a viral disease that causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions and headaches. The state health department has cited hypoglycemia, a condition caused by very low level of blood sugar, as one of the main reasons for the deaths.

Dr SK Shahi, the Medical Superintendent at SKMC, told NDTV that only monsoon can bring respite from the deadly disease.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan visited Muzaffarpur on Sunday to take stock of the situation. After his review, the minister said he had talked to “every concerned individual about this issue”.

“Despite all problems and considering the seriousness of this disease, I appreciate the efforts put in by the doctors to ensure efficient treatment to everyone,” he added.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar earlier expressed grief over the deaths and announced “an ex gratia payment of Rs. 4 lakh to the next of the kin of those who have died”. The Chief Minister also said there is a lack of awareness on how to tackle this disease.