Published: Sun, June 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Bihar: Suspected cases of encephalitis reported from new areas

Bihar: Suspected cases of encephalitis reported from new areas

The health minister who held a meeting with doctors and officials said six more ambulances will be available at the SKMCH from Friday and a 100-bed new ward will be made operational there soon. 27 people died in Aurangabad alone, while 12 deaths were reported from Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College in Gaya. The State blames the death of children under 15 from acute brain disease on "hypoglycaemia resulting from high heat, humidity and no rains". Delhi, Churu in Rajasthan and Banda and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh have witnessed temperatures of 48 degrees Celsius and above.

Mangal Pandey conceded that there were two patients in Muzaffarpur of Japanese encephalitis, but most of the children died due to cerebral fever due to lack of sugar in the blood.

"We have taken all precautionary measures to contain the spread of the disease further", an official posted in Muzaffarpur said. The district administration has intensified awareness campaign in the worst-hit villages.

Since June 1, 197 children have been admitted to SKMCH while 91 were admitted to Kejriwal Hospital with suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), but a lot of them were found to be victims of hypoglycemia.

Till date, more than 170 cases of AES have been reported from 11 districts, which include Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sitamarhi, Samastipur, Sheohar, East Champaran, Patna, Nalanda, Gaya, Bhojpur, Aurangabad and Jehanabad. While care for the sick is undertaken on a war footing in hospitals in the affected areas, there are no discernible steps to define what are the putative etiological agents that can cause such outbreaks and threaten the lives of children and what precautions are to be taken.

On Wednesday a multi-specialist high-level team from India's federal health ministry visited Muzaffarpur to assist the state government in the containment and management of rising cases of AES.

The symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, which causes fatal inflammation of the brain, include fever, mental confusion, disorientation, delirium, or coma, and onset of seizures.

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