Encephalitis Outbreak: At Least 100 Children Dead in Bihar, India

Lester Mason
June 18, 2019

107 children have died in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). According to a tweet by ANI, 88 kids have been killed in Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital while 19 have lost their lives in Kejriwal Hospital in Bihar. 330 children were admitted out which 100 have been discharged & 45 people will be discharged today. Nitish Kumar, accompanied by deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, visited the state-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), where they met children undergoing treatment and also their parents, a district health official said. The chief minister will hold a review meeting with doctors and health officials later in the day to take stock of the situation. "We are anguished and urge the government to provide adequate medical facilities, particularly in Muzaffarpur, to attend to the patients", read a memorandum submitted to the resident commissioner of Bihar in Delhi.

The first few cases of AES and JE were reported from Muzzafarpur and Gaya, in Bihar, as early as 12 June, prompting the state Health Minister to call on Dr. Experts say that once the disease wanes by September, the administration falls back on vaccination and lukewarm awareness campaigns till the next outbreak.

"It's hard to say with certainty if children are dying due to encephalitis because there could be a number of reasons behind these deaths", Dr. Mala Kaneria told the BBC. "He states that a high level investigation should be done if it happened due to consumption of Litchis", he said in a press release.

The petition said that Vardhan and Pandey had failed to fulfill their duties to control the outbreak of the disease. Kumar has already said that the government would bear the cost of treatment and also reimburse transport charges incurred in ferrying patients to hospitals.

Cases have been reported from Samastipur, East Champaran and Vaishali.

The reports also said that the state Health Minister had sent a team of doctors and an adequate number of paramedical staff from Patna to Muzaffarpur.

Union minister Harsh Vardhan Monday issued directions for immediately sending another high-level team to Bihar's Muzaffarpur to set up a state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary research centre in the wake of deaths due to suspected encephalitis.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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