Guard before the attack seems to be the mantra of the state government to fight mosquito-borne diseases this summer.
The government has stepped up preparations to tackle the outbreak of encephalitis and other diseases, while medical institutions have requested the administration to launch hygiene programmes and spray dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) to combat the virus.
The principal secretary of the health department, Vyasji, visited Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) on Sunday and took stock of the health hub’s preparedness.
He also took note of the number of patients thronging the hospital. The government would set up two virology centres — one in Muzaffarpur and the other in Gaya.
Muzaffarpur civil surgeon Dr Gyan Bhushan said: “Spraying of DDT has been started in villages. The state government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, to set up two virology centres — one in Muzaffarpur and the other in Gaya.”
SKMCH superintendent G.K. Thakur on Tuesday said the health department has constituted a task force headed by paediatrician Dr S.N. Arya to treat children affected with encephalitis-like symptoms.
The team is supposed to suggest line of treatment to medics of SKMCH, primary health centres (PHCs) and other institutions by April 7.
Thakur quoting Vyasji said doctors of government hospitals, including PHCs in Muzaffarpur and Gaya, would be directed to follow guidelines of the team through videoconferencing on April 8.
The task force has sought help from experts at National Virology Centre, Pune, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to formulate ways to tackle any outbreak of the disease.
The health department has asked the civil surgeons of Muzaffarpur, Motihari, Vaishali, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Gaya and other vulnerable districts of north and south Bihar to launch awareness drives and educate people about encephalitis and other diseases.
According to sources, SKMCH hospital administration is struggling to accommodate patients. Thakur said Vyasji has assured of increasing the number of beds from 600 to 900.
Encephalitis is an acute inflammation (swelling) of the brain usually caused by a viral infection.
There are several courses of viral encephalitis. Most of the patients infected with viral encephalitis have only mild or no symptoms, and the illness does not last long.