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29 children dead in Bihar due to suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES)

29 children dead in Bihar due to suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES): At least 29 children have died in the last one month in various north Bihar districts due to symptoms similar to that of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), which is also locally known as Chamki bukhar (brain fever). Seeing the concern getting worse, a seven-member team of experts from the central government are immediately arriving here soon in order to find out precise reasons for the epidemic.

There are about more than 29 children who have died in Muzaffapur and its neighbouring districts such as Sitamarhi, Sheohar as well as Motihari this season. There are also around 19 deaths alone in this season that were reported from the SKMCH in Muzaffapur, on the other hand, 10 children who were suffering from the symptoms of AES died at Kejriwal Maternity Clinic (KMC), Muzaffarpur.

Sanjay Kumar, who is the Principal secretary (health) said the experts would soon visit the affected areas to take stock of the condition and recommend effective measures to deal with it.

He said, “So far, no death has been confirmed due to Japanese encephalitis (JE). About 80% of the deaths were caused due to hypoglycemia,”, he also further added that as many as 222 primary health centres (PHCs) of total 12 districts had been have a supply with medicines and are also fully equipped with other facilities in order to treat AES cases.

After the deaths of around more than 40 children in the year 2012 because of the similar symptoms, the Centre had set up a group of ministers (GoM) and has also sent a team of experts.

The experts further had a discussion with local medical experts at Patna AIIMS and later insisted on a standard operating practice (SOP) in order to follow to cover fatalities. Harsh Vardhan, who is the Union health minister had also visited Bihar.

State’s health minister Mangal Pandey on Monday has also met Vardhan, who is holding the health portfolio in the Union cabinet.

The principal secretary said that the pediatric intensive care units had been opened which is basically an area within a hospital specializing in the care of critically ill infants, children, as well as teenagers.

It has been opened up at total of seven government hospitals, that comprises at Darbhanga, Muzaffapur, Gaya and Patna, to deal with the situation. In addition, three other government hospitals have also been equipped with PICU in order to attend to AES affected children.

Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) is a very serious public health concern in India. It is considered as acute-onset of fever as well as a change in mental status such as mental confusion, disorientation, delirium, or coma. The disease is mostly common in children as well as young adults and can also lead to substantial illness and also death.