Bihar: Death toll due to suspected acute encephalitis rises to 107; Harsh Vardhan assures all help from centre

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 16, 2019, 10.10 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

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In the wake of the mounting death toll, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan visited the families of the children suffering from suspected AES in Muzaffarpur and assured them of all possible help from the Centre.

The death toll of children due to suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar reached 107 on Sunday out of which 93 deaths were reported from Muzaffarpur district.

In Bihar's Vaishali district, eleven children were reported to have died due to the viral disease while in Motihari district, two deaths were reported. In Begusarai one child has died due to AES.

In the wake of the mounting death toll, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan visited the families of the children suffering from suspected AES in Muzaffarpur and assured them of all possible help from the Centre.

Vardhan, his deputy Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey visited the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur.

"I assure the people of the area, especially the affected families, that the government will extend all possible help and measures to the state government," Vardhan told reporters here.

The central ministers, however, faced public outrage as black flags were shown to their convoy by demonstrators who alleged inadequate services by the hospital and negligence by politicians to be the cause of the spread of AES.

Attributing heat and humidity as a possible reason behind the disease, the minister said the Ministry of Earth Sciences would help formulate an action plan with the state government to deal with the situation.

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to families of the children who died due to the disease. 

He has also given directions to the health department, district administration and doctors to take necessary measures to fight the menace.

Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey on Saturday said that the state government is doing its best to save children. 

Acute Encephalitis Syndrome is a viral disease, which causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions and headaches and has been claiming lives in the district for the past few weeks.

(With inputs from agencies)