A mystery disease affecting children below six years of age in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district has so far claimed 26 lives while 30 others are being treated in hospitals.
The disease has displayed symptoms similar to encephalitis and is characterized by high fever, followed by children losing consciousness and suffering from convulsions which lead to their death.
Bihar's Health Minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey, who had attributed the initial deaths due to soaring temperatures, has made an emergency visit to Muzaffarpur and said that the situation in the district is serious.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also conducted emergency meetings over the issue and has directed the principal secretary of health department, Amarjeet Sinha, to send in a team of experts to investigate the disease.
The district civil surgeon, AP Singh has said that health officials in the district have so far not managed to identify the disease. "We cannot say what disease led to the death of the children here. The disease is yet to be identified. Whether it is encephalitis or some unknown disease, we can say only after medical reports come", he said.