One hundred and three children have lost their lives due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, officials said on Monday.
Eighty-five children have died in Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), while 18 others have lost their lives in Kejriwal hospital in the city.
Ten new cases of AES were admitted to the SKMCH on Monday while five new cases were brought to the Kejriwal Maternity Clinic (KMC).
Superintendent of the SKMCH, Sunil Kumar Shahi, confirmed deaths of 85 children whereas the civil surgeon of the district, Dr S P Singh confirmed 18 deaths at the KMC.
Dr Gopal Shankar Sahni, head of pediatric department of the SKMCH said that many children who reported convulsion coupled with high fever, died of hypoglycemic, a condition of low blood sugar.
Manoj Kumar, executive director of Bihar’s State Health Society confirmed that cases of AES were also reported from Samastipur, East Champaran and Vaishali.
“Eleven children each, suffering from AES, have been admitted so far at our health facilities in Samastipur and Vaishali. Another six cases were admitted in East Champaran for treatment this year,” said Kumar.
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 action to fight the disease.
While battling a surge in AES cases and heat-related deaths, Bihar’s already fragile health-care system was weakened further by doctors’ protest, held on Monday in solidarity with their West Bengal colleagues.
This year has witnessed the worst outbreak of encephalitis in the state, aided by the long spell of high temperatures combined with excess humidity,said Dr Sahni.
Bihar’s industry minister Shyam Rajak along with a host of Janata Dal (United) leaders visited the ailing children at SKMCH. Rajak said that the state and the central governments were leaving no stone unturned in dealing with the crisis.