Twenty one children have died of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in the Muzaffarpur district of north Bihar since April 21. The ‘killer’ disease, officials recalled, claimed the lives of 264 children last year.
Though more than 2,000 children have fallen prey to this disease in the last two decade, the only thing known is that it breaks out during the May-June period every year.
Common symptoms of AES are high fever, headache, convulsions and seizures.
"Even scientists of the National Institute of Virology, Pune, who came and collected samples from various places of north Bihar failed to ascertain the exact cause of the affliction," said the head of Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital’s (SKMCH) paediatrics department, Dr Braj Mohan.
Earlier, experts from the National Center for Disease Control, New Delhi, visited the children at SKMCH.