In a week, encephalitis toll rises to 71 in Bihar

Union Health Minister assured Centre was ready to provide all assistance

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In a week, encephalitis toll rises to 71 in Bihar
A mother sits along side her child who is admitted due to encephalitis


The death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) rose to 71 on Friday in Bihar, within a week of its outbreak in several districts in the state. More than 150 children have fallen ill due to AES. The worst-hit is Muzaffarpur with at least 61 children falling prey to the AES. The viral infection is claiming lives of children in 12 districts including, Vaishali, Shivhar, Motihari, East Champaran and West Champaran. To make sure that the affected children are getting proper treatment, the state and Central government are working together.

Earlier in the day, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey took stock of the situation at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), Muzaffarpur where several children have died. Pandey met SKMCH Principal Dr (Professor) Bikash Kumar and other senior functionaries to inquire about the medical facilities to treat children suffering from AES. 

He said that an awareness campaign needs to be undertaken in areas where AES is prevalent to prevent the spread of the disease. “The suggestions by the central team has been implemented and advisories issued to the district magistrates of 12 districts where the prevalence of AES is high. SKMCH will be provided with six additional ambulances,” he said.


Expert Mukul Das who works from Indian Institute of Toxicology points out that if an undernourished person or a child eats a lychee on empty stomach there are chances of his glucose levels to drop, which can also turn to be life threatening.  He insists that NGO should ensure  that children should have their meals on time, especially the dinner 

Pandey claimed that children suffering from AES are being provided with the best possible treatment and 27 of them have been discharged till Thursday. There are 66 more children admitted in the hospital, he added. 

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan suggested that as the cases are from some defined areas in the high load districts, the state should also involve other stakeholders like IMA and NGOs for widespread awareness and education campaigns. Pandey had met Union Minister Harsh Vardhan in the national capital where the latter had assured that Centre was ready to provide all assistance. 

— Zee News Mediaroom

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