Number of children killed by encephalitis in Bihar rises to 57

The State government has announced that it will open a new 100-bed ward for children, and six additional ambulances would be deployed for the government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH).

The death toll of children due to suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur on Friday went up to 57.

The State government has announced that it will open a new 100-bed ward for children, and six additional ambulances would be deployed for the government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH).

Earlier on Wednesday, a four-member team of doctors, led by Dr. Arun Sinha, visited the SKMCH, where children with symptoms of AES have been admitted. The team then issued guidelines and suggestions to local medical experts and doctors.

Though the State government had previously said the cause of death of small children, mostly from poor families, was hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels, experts and private doctors in Muzaffarpur told The Hindu that “AES is a broader aspect of hypoglycemia”.

Minister confirms

State Health Minister Mangal Pandey visited SKMCH on Friday and said 57 children — 47 in SKMCH and 10 at the Kejriwal Maternity Hospital — had died since the outbreak of AES in Muzaffarpur.

He also held meetings with doctors and district officials, and enquired about children undergoing treatment at the medical college.

Mr. Pandey had earlier gone to Delhi to meet Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan and other officials to discuss the death of children in Muzaffarpur.

He had earlier gone to Delhi to meet Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to discuss the death of children in Muzaffarpur.

“In the last 20-22 days, 57 children — 47 at SKMCH and ten at the privately-owned Kejriwal Maternity Hospital — have died due to AES…We are monitoring all this and have decided to make people aware of AES,” Mr. Pandey told local journalists in Muzaffarpur.

He added, “A team comprising one Professor, three Associate Professors, four Assistant Professors, nine Senior Resident Doctors and 15 Junior Resident Doctors, is monitoring the situation at SKMCH…encephalitis is a viral infection, which causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions and headaches.”

Meanwhile, sick children with symptoms of AES continue to be admitted into the two crammed Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) at SKMCH.

A separate makeshift ward, too, is full with children suffering from AES symptoms.

A statement from district authorities said nine children at SKMCH and five in Kejriwal hospital were in critical condition.

“Doctors and nurses are doing round-the-clock duty to monitor the situation. Some of the children have also been discharged from the hospital, after getting well,” said

SKMCH Principal Dr. Sunil Kumar Shahi said, “We have an in-patient bed strength of only 610, whereas the number of patients admitted is around 876. But we are managing to provide treatment to all of them.”

Source: The Hindu

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