New Delhi: The death toll is steadily rising in Bihar’s encephalitis outbreak with as many as 100 children losing their lives, so far, after falling prey to the disease. Hundreds more have been admitted in various hospitals in the state’s Muzaffarpur district with acute encephalitis syndrome.
Sunil Kumar Shahi, superintendent at state-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital, said, “Death toll due to acute encephalitis syndrome in Muzaffarpur has risen to 100.”
While 83 children have died in Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital, 17 have lost their lives in Kejriwal Hospital in the Muzaffarpur city, which is the headquarters of the Muzaffarpur district, which falls under the Tirhut division of Bihar.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Union health minister, visited the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital, on Sunday, to take a stock of the situation with the Union minister of state for health and family welfare, Ashwini Choubey. However, they faced the ire of the angry kin of the AES victims and people in the area. The public waved black flags at them in protest.
Earlier, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had announced an amount of ₹4 lakh each to families of the deceased while giving directions to the health department, district administration and doctors to take necessary measures to fight the disease.
Meanwhile, the Bihar government continues to be in a state of confusion whether to acknowledge the deaths due to AES. Earlier, the state government attributed the deaths to hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and now, Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey said the cause of this disease could be sleeping empty stomach at night, dehydration due to humidity and eating lychee on empty stomach, etc.