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Encephalitis death toll mounts to 132 in Bihar's Muzaffarpur

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

ANI Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India Jun 26, 2019, 10.49 AM (IST)

The death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) mounted to 132 in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district.Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), which is handling the largest number of patients in the district, reported 111 deaths while there were 21 deaths in Kejriwal Hospital.

As the death toll continues to rise, senior Resident Doctor deployed at SKMCH, Dr Bhimsen Kumar, was suspended on June 22 over alleged negligence of duty.

The Health Department had deployed Kumar, a paediatrician at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), to SKMCH on June 19 after the AES outbreak.

On June 18, Bihar Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar informed that 12 extra doctors have been deputed at SKMCH from different districts, of which four are from Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital, four from Nalanda Medical College and Hospital and four from Patna Medical College and Hospital.

The Supreme Court on Monday expressed "serious concerns" over the rising number of deaths due to the disease, saying "it is a matter of great concern".

While hearing a plea filed by two advocates, a Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai said, "This (death of children) cannot go on."The petitioner had sought constitution of a team of medical experts for the treatment of children suffering from encephalitis.The Bihar government told the top court that it is taking all necessary steps to control the outbreak and that the situation is "absolutely under control."

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the children who died due to AES.

He had also given directions to the health department, district administration and doctors to take necessary measures for the containment of the disease.

AES is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms such as high fever, vomiting and in extreme cases, brain dysfunction, seizure, and inflammation of heart and kidney.

 

Story highlights

As the death toll continues to rise, senior Resident Doctor deployed at SKMCH, Dr Bhimsen Kumar, was suspended on June 22 over alleged negligence of duty.