Six children die in Gaya hospital; encephalitis toll mounts to 142 in Muzaffarpur

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Gaya Jul 09, 2019, 12.35 PM (IST)

Six children have died at Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College in Gaya since July 2 and cause could be encephalitis, however, reports are awaited to confirm this, a doctor has said. 

22 children have been admitted to the medical college since July 2, out of whom six died and other 16 are undergoing treatment, news agency ANI quoted Medical Superintendent Dr VK Prasad.

Meanwhile, the death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has climbed to 142 in Muzaffarpur district in the last one month. As per official data, 121 deaths have been reported at the government-run Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), which is handling the largest number of patients in the district, while 21 deaths have been confirmed at Kejriwal Hospital.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of children who dies due to AES.

On June 24, the Supreme Court had expressed "serious concerns" over the rising number of deaths due to the disease. The apex court had reprimanded the Bihar government over the deaths of children across the state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while speaking in the Rajya Sabha, had termed the AES deaths as "unfortunate" and "a matter of shame for the nation.

"The deaths in Bihar due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome are unfortunate and a matter of shame for us. We have to take this seriously. I am in constant touch with the state government and I am sure we will collectively come out of this crisis soon," he said.

Symptoms of AES include high fever, convulsions and extremely low blood sugar levels. Among the factors said to trigger the syndrome are malnutrition.

(With inputs from agencies)