HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

‘Mystery’ epidemic kills 29 children in Bihar

Ajay Kumar  Muzaffarpur, June 08, 2014
First Published: 00:40 IST(8/6/2014) | Last Updated: 08:42 IST(8/6/2014)

An ‘encephalitis-like’ mystery disease has claimed the lives of 29 children over the past one week in Muzaffarpur district of north Bihar — a longtime epicentre for the disease.

Four children died at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) here on Friday.

However, Muzaffarpur civil surgeon Gyan Bhushan confirmed only 19 deaths attributed to the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) like medical condition since its outbreak this year.

“A total of 84 cases have been reported so far this year. Out of these, 19 children have succumbed to this deadly disease,” he said, adding that all government and private hospitals had been alerted.

Bhushan said that the doctors serving at these hospitals have been asked to stick to the line of treatment fixed by the experts when the same disease broke out in the area last year.

Confirming the deaths, superintendent of SKMCH, Dr GK Thakur, said that seven new patients had been admitted to the hospital in the last day. Another seven arrived at a private facility.

“Altogether 26 children were undergoing treatment at the intensive child care unit. Three out of four died late on Friday, while one child succumbed to the disease late Saturday afternoon,” he said.

A two-member state government team reached the district on Friday to take stock of the situation.

“No effective measure has been taken so far to cope with the disease even though it has claimed more than 3,000 lives since 1995, when the first such death was reported,” said an official.

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