Five more children died of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district Sunday, taking the toll in the state to 230 since May, an official said. Additional Secretary (Health) R.P. Ojha said that of the 581 children with AES symptoms admitted to hospitals, 230 have died. He told mediapersons that AES, a mosquito-borne disease, had claimed the lives of 162 children so far in Muzaffarpur district alone – the highest figure in the state.
Most of these children died at the Sri Krishna Memorial College Hospital and the Kejriwal Charitable Hospital. As many as 52 children have so far died at the Patna Medical College Hospital and 11 at Anugrah Narain Medical College Hospital in Gaya. Three children died in Vaishali and two in Sitamarhi districts. Bihar health officials said they had identified 10 districts where the disease has spread.
“In the last four days, the number of fresh AES cases AES have reduced due to the rain,” a health official said. Health Minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey has told striking junior doctors of Patna Medical College and Hospital to resume work in view of the spreading AES. The strike entered its 10th day Sunday. The government has decided to provide a compensation of Rs.50,000 each to the kins of the AES victims from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The districts worst affected by AES are Patna, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, East Champaran and Vaishali.