Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey on Friday said in the last 20-22 days, 57 children have died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the state.
On Thursday, officials said, seven more children died of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome-like symptoms in Bihar in last 24 hours.
Children dying due to AES: Here’s what has happened so far
- With the toll feared to go up as dozens of kids were still being treated in various hospitals, the state and Central governments are scrambling to contain the spread of the disease.
- Regional Additional Director, Health, Ashok Kumar Singh, who is based in Muzaffarpur that has been worst hit by the disease outbreak, confirmed deaths of 43 children so far.
- As many as 36 children died in the government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) and seven in the private Kejriwal hospital as of Wednesday evening, he said.
- With dozens of children undergoing treatment, Singh did not rule out more deaths on Thursday even as some reports said that the toll had risen above 60.
- Principal Secretary, Health, Sanjay Kumar admitted that many children with symptoms akin to AES are still undergoing treatment in Muzaffarpur and few new patients were also admitted in the hospitals in last 24 hours.
- Kumar said that most of children died due to hypoglycaemia (loss of sugar in the blood) and shortage of sodium in their bodies after developing symptoms akin to AES.
A day after the seven-member Central team headed by senior paediatrician Dr Arun Kumar Sinha, national advisor in the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry, visited Muzaffarpur to review the situation and to help the state in control of the disease, Union Minister of State for Health Ashwani Kumar Choubey reached Muzaffarpur on Thursday.
His visit came as Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan's visit was cancelled at the last moment.
AES: More than 140 cases of AES reported from 11 districts
Till date, more than 140 cases of AES have been reported from 11 districts - Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Samastipur, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, East Champaran, Patna, Gaya, Jehanabad, Bhojpur and Aurangabad.
(With inputs from agencies)