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Blame on ORS for kid deaths

Muzaffarpur, June 21: Union health minister Harsh Vardhan believes the acute encephalitis syndrome-affected kids died because of metabolic and electrolyte imbalances in the body during peak summer.

It is difficult for doctors to pinpoint a cause owing to imbalances, including lack of glucose, potassium and sodium, he said.

At Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) this evening, Harsh Vardhan said experts were investigating the cause of the disease plaguing Muzaffarpur for over a decade, adding that the Centre would assist the state in setting up virology laboratories in all five medical colleges.

He said he would launch a vaccination campaign from a primary health centre in Kanti block tomorrow and children in the age bracket of nine months and 15 years would be vaccinated.

The health minister also announced that MBBS seats would be increased from 150 to 250 from the next academic session at SKMCH.

He assured necessary help in creating 100 beds in the paediatric intensive care unit and an encephalitis ward.

He said he would visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, in July and request the director for investigation behind the outbreak.

In the past 24 hours, 12 admissions and two deaths were reported from SKMCH.