Encephalitis Deaths in Bihar: One more child succumbs, toll reaches 131

Patna: With one more child succumbing to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) on Tuesday morning, the toll due to the epidemic has reached 131 in Muzaffarpur district in Bihar. Encephalitis is also known as Chamki Fever in Bihar.

The death occurred at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) where the largest number of children are admitted. A total of 111 deaths have occurred at government-run SKMCH and 20 at Kejriwal hospital.

A senior resident doctor stationed at SKMCH, Dr Bhimsen Kumar, was suspended over alleged neglect of duty on Saturday.

The Supreme Court on Monday expressed serious concerns over the rising deaths of the AES patients. While hearing a plea filed by two advocates, a Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai said: “This (death of children) cannot go on.”

Bihar government told the court that it is taking all necessary steps to control the outbreak of the AES in Muzaffarpur and that the situation is “absolutely under control.”

Chief Judicial Magistrate, Suryakant Tiwari orders investigation against Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey, in a case of neglect registered against them, in connection with deaths of children in Muzaffarpur due to the AES.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the children who died due to the AES. He had also given directions to the health department, district administration and doctors to take necessary measures for the containment of the disease.