Monday, 30th October 2017

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Encephalitis alarm as six children die

The deaths of six children suspected to be suffering from symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis in a span of 48 hours has set off alarms in the health department.

By Najmus Shear in Muzaffarpur
  • Published 15.06.18
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A woman tends to her baby suffering from encephalitis at Muzaffarpur Kejriwal Hospital. Picture by Pankaj Kumar

Muzaffarpur: The deaths of six children suspected to be suffering from symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis in a span of 48 hours has set off alarms in the health department.

Four deaths from the Kejriwal Maternity Clinic and two from SKMCH have been reported from the intensive care unit (ICU) of the paediatrics wards here. Currently, 11 children suspected to be afflicted with AES are undergoing treatment at Kejriwal Maternity Clinic. Blood samples of these children are being sent to the Rajendra Memorial Research Institute (RMI) in Patna for proper investigation.

This summer, 35 kids suspected to be suffering from AES and JE were admitted to SKMCH and Kejriwal Maternity Clinic. Most of the children hailed from Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Motihari. They had complained of trembling and heavy bouts of fever. They are being treated accordingly following the line of treatment suggested by the health department, said Lalita Singh, the chief medical officer of Muzaffarpur.

The deputy superintendent of SKMCH, Sunil Kumar Shahi, said: "This summer, 17 kids suspected to be suffering from AES and JE were admitted. Thirteen children were confirmed of carrying the AES virus. Four deaths have occurred till Thursday afternoon. The rest have been treated and discharged."

"Four kids with suspected AES are undergoing treatment in the ICU of SKMCH," added the deputy superintendent.

Lalita said she has alerted all PHCs in the rural areas to refer suspected cases of AES to SKMCH and Kejriwal Maternity Clinic.

Anganwadi and Aasha workers have already advised people residing in countryside areas to look after the health and hygiene of their children properly. These activists have already conducted a door-to-door visit in vulnerable villages to spread awareness about the virus. Parents have been advised not to let children sleep on an empty stomach and provide kids with sweets and glucose drinks at night to keep the AES virus at bay.