Death toll due to Encephalitis climbs to 128 in Muzaffarpur; Kanhaiya Kumar visits hospital
Patna, June 22: Death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) rose to 128 in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district. The Bihar health department had on June 20 released state-wide figures putting the total toll following the outbreak, which has spread across 16 districts, at 136.
As per official data, the death toll in government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) touched 108, while 20 children died at Kejriwal hospital in the district due to the vector-borne disease.
Some reports, however, claim that three more children with symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) died at a hospital in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district on June 21 taking the toll to 139. With the latest three casualties, the death toll rose to 139 though unconfirmed reports claim that the number has crossed 150.
Meanwhile, Communist Party of India's Kanhaiya Kumar today visited SKMCH Hospital in Muzaffarpur where 108 people have died due to Encephalitis.
Most of the victims have been from the poor socio-economic background. Muzaffarpur district has suffered maximum casualities. Deaths have also been reported from Bhagalpur, East Champaran, Vaishali, Sitamarhi and Samastipur.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the children who died due to the AES.
The high number of deaths this year has been blamed on hypoglycemia or sudden drop in blood sugar levels, which some experts attribute to malnutrition and consumption of unripe litchi -- a fruit grown in abundance in north Bihar -- on an empty stomach and failure to administer glucose within four hours of the onset of fever and other symptoms.
What is Acute Encephalitis Syndrome?
AES is an umbrella term of infections that cause swellings on the brain. Its symptoms typically include headache, vomiting, confusion and seizures, and complications include memory loss, coma and even death. According to statistics released by the department, the total number of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) cases registered across the state since June 1 was over 620, and the total number of deaths caused by the same has crossed 135.