2 more kids in Muzaffarpur die of encephalitis, toll 37

Two more children died of suspected acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur on Wednesday, taking the toll to 37, even as a central team of experts arrived in the town to assist the state government in containment and management of the vector-borne disease.

“Two more children died today due to AES at the Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital (SKMCH), Muzaffarpur, taking the death toll up to 37,” said Sanjay Kumar, principal secretary, health, Bihar government.

Union minister of state for health Ashwini Kumar Choubey was scheduled to visit Muzaffarpur on Thursday.

The official, however, conceded that he did not have figures of the Kejriwal Maternity Clinic (KMC), Muzaffarpur, where many children with symptoms of AES are undergoing treatment.

“Till Monday, 28 children had died of AES at the SKMCH and seven at the KMC,” added Kumar.

So far 143 cases of AES have been reported from 11 districts —Vaishali, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, East Champaran, Patna, Nalanda, Muzaffarpur, Jehanabad, Gaya, Bhojpur and Aurangabad.

The seven-member central team, headed by senior paediatrician Dr Arun Singh, national advisor of the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram, ministry of health and family welfare (MoH&FW), would review the situation arising from surge in AES in Muzaffarpur and assist the state in control of the disease. The team has been asked to submit its report to the director-general of health services.

The team comprises Dr Ram Singh, joint director and in-charge of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Patna; Dr Saurabh Goel, assistant director of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), NCDC; Dr Poonam Vellamuri, entomologist, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP); Dr Lokesh Tiwari, associate professor, department of paediatrics, AIIMS-Patna; Dr Krishna Pandey, virologist; and Rajender Kumar, laboratory technician, both from the Rajendra Memorial Research Institute (RMRI), Patna.

Ved Prakash, an aide to MoS Choubey, said, “The minister will arrive in Patna on Thursday and head for Muzaffarpur. The Centre is keeping a close watch on the situation. Earlier in the day, the minister had reviewed the situation with joint secretary, NVBDCP, at his official chamber in New Delhi.”

First Published:
Jun 12, 2019 23:35 IST

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