Via Outlook India.com: Bihar: Encephalitis Toll in Bihar Climbs to 46. Excerpt:
With five more children succumbing to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the last 24 hours, the death toll in the disease climbed to 46 today.
Worried over the rising toll, Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi today directed Deepak Kumar, principal secretary of the Health department to constitute a committee on AES and submit a report as soon as possible on measures that could be taken to check the disease.
"We also need to find out why the disease is affecting children from poor families only. What is the connection between poverty and this disease? We also need to understand the reasons behind its outbreak during summer only," said Manjhi while talking at a seminar on AES at AIIMS Patna.
Confirming the toll, Muzaffarpur Civil Surgeon Dr Gyan Bhushan said all efforts are being made on war-footing but said there could be more casualties as death rate in this disease is quite high at 26 per cent.
Bhushan said that separate AES wards are functioning at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) and Kejriwal Hospital as most of the ill children are admitted at these two places. Teams of doctors and nurses are working round to clock to save the children.
"Health workers have been asked to identify ill children in the villages and rush them to hospitals. They will be paid Rs 100 per children. The chances of saving the lives of children with AES symptoms increases if treatment of the children is started early," said Bhushan.
Health department's additional secretary Rajendra Prasad Ojha said, "Apart from Muzaffarpur, the disease has also spread to its neighbouring East Champaran, Sitamarhi, Sheohar and Vaishali. A large number of new cases are from East Champaran. Most of the ill children have been admitted to SKMCH and Kejriwal Hospital.
The number of AES patients admitted in hospitals is around 165.