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AES outbreak: Death toll in Bihar swells to 146; Muzaffarpur hospitals ban cameras

Experts have blamed the high incidence of hypoglycemia on a toxin found in unripe litchi fruit, which is believed to be consumed by malnourished children from underprivileged backgrounds.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: June 22, 2019 13:21 IST
Bihar death toll
Image Source : PTI

AES outbreak: Death toll in Bihar swells to 146

More than 600 children across 16 districts of Bihar have so far been afflicted with brain fever, the state health department said. The death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur has swelled to 146. 

The hospital authorities have put a ban on cameras inside the premises. 

According to statistics released by the department, the total number of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) cases registered across the state since June 1 was 626, and the total number of deaths caused by the same has mounted to 136.

At least 117 deaths have been reported from Muzaffarpur district so far. Casualties have also been reported from districts like Bhagalpur, East Champaran, Vaishali, Sitamarhi and Samastipur.

The department also said that among the various complications that are covered under the umbrella term AES, hypoglycemia or very low blood sugar level was the most prevalent as it has afflicted 520 children and accounted for 110 deaths.

Experts have blamed the high incidence of hypoglycemia on a toxin found in unripe litchi fruit, which is believed to be consumed by malnourished children from underprivileged backgrounds.

There have been a few instances of Japanese Encephalitis and herpes, too, which are caused by viral infections, the health department said.

The Centre, as well as the state government, have taken a grim note of the alarming number of deaths caused this year, the highest since 2014.

Union Health Minister Harshvardhan visited Muzaffarpur on Sunday, two days before Chief Minister Nitish Kumar toured the district and held a meeting with officials to review the situation.

The state health department has deputed additional medical officers, child specialists and nurses from other districts to Muzaffarpur to help the health officials in the district.

Health workers were being provided with packets of oral rehydration solution for free distribution in the affected regions, so that dehydration and electrolyte imbalance could be kept at bay in the event of the onset of fever.

The government has also announced that it would reimburse any expenses involved in getting children treated at private hospitals and nursing homes or hiring of ambulances.

Many child specialists, not associated with any government hospital, are holding free camps for the afflicted children.

Also Read | Patna: JACP members polish shoes to collect money for children affected due to AES

Video: No respite from encephalitis as death toll rises to 146 in Bihar

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