Encephilatis outbreak: Death toll reaches 100, Bihar CM Nitish calls meeting

Nitish Kumar
Nitish Kumar, Image ANI

Patna, June 17 : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called an internal meeting as acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has till now claimed 100 lives in Muzaffarpur and the adjoining districts in the state. Health department senior officials to be present in the meeting .

The Nitish kumar government is being criticised for alleged negligence and unpreparedness in handling the situation , but the state government maintains that all steps have been taken to tackle the crisis.

Amid rising cases of encephalitis in the state, a Janata Dal (United) leader minister said that treating patients was more important than Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s visit to hospital.

Shyam Rajak, when asked if Kumar will visit Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur where more than 80 patients have died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), said, “Everything is being monitored by the chief minister. What is important? Monitoring and treating the patients or him visiting here.”

Most of the casualties affected by the Syndrome are between the age group of 1-10. Karnataka govt hospitals to function

With the death toll reaching 100, the situation in Bihar is only deteriorating.
patients and we are upset after seeing their condition.”Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan visited the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur on Sunday where maximum number of children have died in the last two weeks due to the Syndrome which is locally called the ‘Chamki’ fever.

A 5-year old girl, who was undergoing treatment at SKMCH, died in front of the health minister in the Intensive Care Unit.

Harsh Vardhan spent four hours at the hospital reviewing the situation arising out of sudden spurt in the number of deaths. However, he did not find any fault with the lack of facilities at the hospital and backed the doctors for their efficiency in dealing with the crisis.

He also advocated setting up of a research institute to identify the reason behind the disease. In 2014, a similar AES outbreak claimed 379 lives. Harsh Vardhan, who was the Union health minister in the Centre then had visited the hospital but even after five years, the situation on the ground has not changed much.

“The doctors here at the hospital are doing their best under such a difficult situation in treating the children. A multi-disciplinary institute will be set up here in the next one year to identify the reason behind this disease,” Harsh Vardhan said.

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