Six more children succumb to encephalitis in Bihar's Muzaffarpur, toll rises to 103

According to a release issued by the district administration, 18 deaths were reported from Kejriwal hospital in the district and 85 from Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital.

Published: 17th June 2019 08:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th June 2019 09:14 PM   |  A+A-

Children showing symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome AES being treated at Shri Krishna Medical College and hospital in Muzaffarpur Sunday June 16 2019. | PTI

By PTI

PATNA: Six children died on Monday in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district, taking the toll due to a suspected case of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) to 103.

According to a release issued by the district administration, 18 deaths were reported from Kejriwal hospital in the district and 85 from Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), where Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had visited the patients on Sunday and assured their families of all possible help from the Centre.

While doctors have maintained that the deaths occurred due to AES, state officials claimed that most of the victims, below the age of 10, have fallen prey to hypoglycemia, a condition caused by low level of blood sugar, electrolyte imbalance due to high temperature and extreme humidity.

ALSO READ | NHRC notice to Centre, Nitish government over increasing children deaths in Muzaffarpur

On Monday, five more children died at SKMCH and one at the Kejriwal hospital, while the condition of 12 patients at the two hospitals was stated to be serious, the release said.

Earlier in the day, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sent notices to the Union Health Ministry and the Bihar government over reports of the increasing number of deaths of children in Muzaffarpur, a senior official said.

ALSO READ | Harsh Vardhan, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey named in AES deaths case

The commission observed that despite reported measures taken by the government agencies, deaths of children in such a large number indicate a "possible flaw" in implementation of vaccination and awareness programmes.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had on Sunday announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to families of each of the deceased.

He directed the health department, district administration and doctors to take necessary measures to fight the disease.

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