Via The Times of India: Gaya distrist administration gears up to contain Acute Encephalitis Syndrome. Gaya is the second-largest city in Bihar state. Excerpt:
GAYA: The somewhat untimely outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has taken health officials by surprise and all out efforts are now being made to fight the menace with effective actions of both the treatment and prevention variety. ANMMCH, Gaya, has so far reported 17 AES cases and eight casualties.
Panic buttons were subsequently pressed and reinforcement of doctors from other places and availability of more ambulances has been made to identify the suspected encephalitis cases at the initial stage itself. As per experience, patients are rushed to the ANMMCH only after much damage has been caused and saving patient's life becomes a big challenge.
Even if the patient survives, the physical and mental handicaps caused by weakened limbs and retarded mental faculties, make the life of survivors problematic for the family. The encephalitis victims are invariably from the extremely disadvantaged sections.
Records show that AES cases are reported in Gaya in the months of September-October and as such, the June outbreak virtually caught the health machinery off guard. The most severe AES outbreak was witnessed in September 2011 in which altogether 409 children below 15 years age were admitted, 93 of whom died.
Dr BB Singh, HoD paediatrics, ANMMCH, Gaya, said no new case of AES has been reported during the last 48 hours. Singh identified shortage of specialists as the biggest challenge in fighting the menace. As against 10 sanctioned posts of pediatricians, only four are in position while the remaining six posts are lying vacant.
Asked about the availability of investigative tools, the HoD said investigation was done in the college part of the premises and as such he did not have exact idea. The investigating tools must be in place, said Singh.
According to district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agrawal, all out efforts are being made to contain AES. The main problem is early identification of the symptoms. By the time patients reach the medical college, it is too late and saving lives of the critical stage patients becomes that much difficult.