Bihar Encephalitis Deaths: Toll rises to 112, government orders testing of litchis

Patna: The death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district rose to 112 on Wednesday, officials said.

As many as 93 children have died at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) alone, while 19 others lost their lives at Kejriwal Hospital.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had on Tuesday visited Sri Krishna hospital to take stock of the encephalitis outbreak.

Earlier, Kumar had announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the children who died due to AES.

He had also given directions to the health department, district administration and doctors to take necessary measures to fight the outbreak.

Reports say encephalitis spreading in litchi growing areas of state

Meanwhile, Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das has directed officials to determine toxic content in litchi fruit being sold in the state.

The directive has come in the wake of reports that encephalitis is spreading in litchi growing areas of Bihar, including Muzaffarpur district and other parts of the country and that eating of the fruit was among the factors for the spread of the disease.

The Department of Health and Family Welfare directed the Food Commissioner to collect and test the sample of Litchi being sold in the market.

Earlier, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey had said a team that was formed to determine the cause of Encephalitis concluded that sleeping on an empty stomach at night, dehydration due to humidity and eating litchi on an empty stomach were some of the causes of the disease.

Encephalitis is a viral disease, which causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions, and headache.