LUCKNOW: Spreading further its deadly tentacles, encephalitis took 10 more lives in the past 24 hours in the Gorakhpur division taking the toll in the state this season to 361. According to health department sources, 39 children in extremely critical condition are battling for life in government hospitals and Baba Raghav Das Medical College, Gorakhpur.
Additional director, health, Diwakar Prasad, told TOI that the victim children hailed from Gorakhpur, Deoria and Kushinagar districts. "Since January, as many as 2,341 children have fallen prey to encephalitis in our division. This includes children from Bihar border and Nepal as well," Prasad told TOI.
On the type of cases, BRD Medical College principal Dr KP Kushwaha said, "Of all the kids who died, only 93 children tested positive for Japanese encephalitis while the remaining have been categorized as acute encephalitis syndrome which is caused by different types of viruses in the entero virus family."
Local health activists say part of the funds sanctioned by Central and state governments have started coming in and resources have been raised. But people in remote villages have little information about the facilities available. "Though a fleet of ambulances has been readied to transport patients, about 80 per cent of the families reporting at the BRD medical college come on their own," said a health official.
Similarly, pediatricians have been posted at district hospitals and community health centers to attend to patients but parents do not trust them and prefer taking the children to private nursing homes. Doctors at the nursing homes refer the patients to the medical college. Of the total 2,300-odd cases, around 1,700 have been attended to by the BRD medical college doctors.