Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

MoS Home Affairs denies government laxity in Muzaffarpur AES outbreak

At least 31 children in India killed by toxin in lychees Four more children die in Bihar, toll rises to 69 | HW English
Patty Aguilar | 16 June, 2019, 07:38

With two more children dying from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur district on Friday, the official death toll from AES climbed to 59 in Bihar. Of the 93 patients undergoing treatment at the two hospitals now - 74 at SKMCH and 19 at Kejriwal Matridan - the condition of 12 is stated to be critical.

State Health Minister Mangal Pandey yesterday said advisory has been issued in the affected areas so that children get proper treatment when symptoms of the disease are detected.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has already directed the officials concerned to ensure that preventive measures were taken in the affected districts, though deaths have so far been reported from Muzaffarpur only.

"The death toll today [Saturday] of children has gone up to 69 - 58 at government hospital, SKMCH, and 11 at privately owned Kejriwal hospital", Muzaffapur civil surgeon Shailesh Prasad Singh told The Hindu over phone. Out of five, four were reported from Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) and one from another major hospital in the district Kejriwal Matri Sadan (KMS). "The team advised us to preserve serum samples of patients and examine them after 15 days, and do a follow-up, added Dr. Sahi".

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The team recommended that the bed strength of the paediatric ICU at SKMCH be increased from existing 14 beds to 100, SKMCH superintendent Shahi said.

Principal Secretary in the state Health Department Sanjay Kumar visited a government run and confirmed that a total of 69 children have now died due to AES in June. The numbers of cases are declining. The District Magistrate (DM) of Gaya was quoted by ANI saying that out of the 12, seven were from Gaya, two from Aurangabad, one from Chatra, one from Sheikhpura and one from Nawada. This fruit is believed to persuade a fatal metabolic illness called hypoglycaemic encephalopathy in children.

In 2015, United States researchers had said the brain disease could be linked to a toxic substance found in the exotic fruit. The disease is transmitted through mosquito bites, leading to infection that causes high fever.

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