The outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome has claimed 15
more lives in Bihar bringing up the death toll to 92.
The disease has started spreading to neighboring districts,
and 13 children on Sunday and 2 children on Monday reportedly died of the
disease across the state.
AES is now spreading its tentacles to new areas," said Deepak Kumar, principal
secretary of the health department.
Victims are mostly from Muzaffarpur, followed by Sitamarhi and
East Champaran districts, according to health officials.
However, cases have been reported from other districts as well,
such as Vaishali, Samastpur, Sheohar, Begusarai, Gaya and Patna.
AES is a fatal mosquito-borne viral disease characterized
by inflammation of the brain, and the victim presents with high fever.
Jitan Ram Manjhi , the chief minister of
Bihar,. has ordered a financial assistance of Rs. 50,000 to the families of each
victim from June 12.
Besides, AES treatment is being given at the two hospitals and
Primary Health Centers in Muzaffarpur district for a total of 458 children out
of which 79 have had full recovery from the disease.
Medical teams and 25 to 30 ambulances have been rushed to
Muzaffarpur for transporting affected children to hospitals at Muzaffarnagar.
Moreover, food will be supplied to two attendants of each
patient at the two hospitals at Muzafarnagar.
At the beginning of this year, the state government carried
out a special vaccination drive to cover thousands of children against
Mr. Manjhi has sought financial aid from the WHO to find a
permanent solution to the spread of this life-threatening disease every year in Bihar.
The central government has sent a team, comprising
representatives of the Union Health Ministry and Indian Council of Medical
Research, to Muzaffarpur to take stock of the situation, Health Minister
Ramdhani Singh said.
Muzaffarpur civil surgeon
Gayan Bhusan expressed hope that monsoon rains would provide relief to children
suffering from the disease and would help to suppress the virus causing the
Additional Secretary (Health) R P Ojha said that the
Centre has decided to set up Multi-Disciplinary Resource Units (MRU) and Viral
Diagnostic Laboratories (VDLs) in five districts for diagnosis, treatment and
research of AES and related diseases and the expenditure will be borne by the
central government for five years.
The Union Health Ministry will sign an agreement with the Indian Council of
Medical Research for the proposed medical projects in Bihar, and the state
government will send a draft MOU to that effect by June 26.