Encephalitis: 20 more children die in Muzaffarpur, 100 deaths so far in June alone

The deadly Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has claimed the lives of 20 more children in just a day on Sunday, taking the number of deaths to 100 in June alone in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur. Many children died due to hypoglycemia, a condition caused by low blood sugar.

As the state battles with the fatal disease, the Union Government has proclaimed a series of measures including 100 beds in the ICU for Muzaffarpur kids.

In the wake of fatalities due to AES, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had earlier announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to families of the deceased.

He had also given directions to the Health Department, district administration and doctors to take necessary measures to fight the disease.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had visited the state Monday to take stock of the situation as the number of casualties from the AES and Japanese Encephalitis cases continue to rise.

Harsh Vardhan met multi-disciplinary teams deployed at the Ground Zero of the Encephalitis outbreak and addressed a state-level review meeting.

The minister said the Centre would set up a state-of-the-art research centre in Muzaffarpur within a year to deal with the menace of the disease.

People demonstrate during Harsh Vardhan’s visit

Tensions surmounted at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital, where Harsh Vardhan was visiting, as people demonstrated the alleged insufficient services by the hospital and neglect by politicians. Black flags were shown to his convoy as public outrage continued through the minister’s visit.

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

Last week, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey had said a team that was formed to ascertain the cause of this disease concluded that sleeping empty stomach at night, dehydration due to humidity and eating lychee on empty stomach were some of the causes of encephalitis.