Child dies due to encephalitis in Muzaffarpur, toll in Bihar reaches 4 this year
The total number of deaths in the state due to Japanese encephalitis (JE) and AES, which is a cluster of diseases, involving the brain, has now gone up to four this year.
A three-year old female child, Shivani Kumari, died of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) at the Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital (SKMCH) in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, around 72 km north of Patna, Tuesday evening, hospital officials said on Wednesday.
The total number of deaths in the state due to Japanese encephalitis (JE) and AES, which is a cluster of diseases, involving the brain, has now gone up to four this year. Of these, three deaths were known cases of AES and one of JE. One death each has been reported from Sitamarhi, Vaishali, Patna and Muzaffarpur district, said state health officials.
SKMCH superintendent, Dr Babu Saheb Jha confirmed that the child died of AES on May 31.
Shivani, who was brought to the SKMCH on May 31 from Muzaffarpur’s Kanti block, a distance of 16 km (approx.), died the same day. This is the first death due to AES so far this year of a child dying the same day on being admitted to a medical college hospital, pointing to a delay in getting the patient to the SKMCH, a tertiary care centre, having 100 beds in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
“Shivani, developed convulsion at 5am on May 31, despite having dinner the previous day. Deepak Paswan, her father, who is my brother, took her to the Kanti health facility around 8am. She was subsequently referred to the SKMCH, but she died there later in the evening,” said Sanju Devi, the victim’s paternal aunt.
The state health department issued a three-point advisory, called “Chamki ko Dhamki”, in April 2020, advising people to compulsorily feed children at night, check for convulsion or loss of consciousness in the morning and to rush such patients to the nearest health centre.
The state government has also tied up at least two vehicles per panchayat under the chief minister’s rural transportation scheme and allows reimbursement of fare between ₹400 and ₹1,000 to transport AES children to the nearest health facility by any mode of transport, even if it was a private vehicle.
Till May 31 this year, the SKMCH has reported 45 admissions of children suffering from AES, of which 41 have been cured and discharged, three died and one left against medical advice.
Bihar, till May 30, reported 56 cases of AES/JE across its 12 AES-endemic districts of which 28 were from Muzaffarpur, seven from East Champaran, five from Sitamarhi, four from Saran, 3 from Vaishali, 2 each from Patna and West Champaran and one each from Araria, Jehanabad, Khagaria, Samastipur and Jamui.