Litchi fruit under scanner over encephalitis deaths in Bihar

Left-wing activists shout slogans as they protest against deaths of more than 100 children due to encephalitis in the Indian state of Bihar in New Delhi India

Left-wing activists shout slogans as they protest against deaths of more than 100 children due to encephalitis in the Indian state of Bihar in New Delhi India

"A field survey is paramount at this moment", said the superintendent, adding that malnourished children are vulnerable to face the toxins' effect and hence fall ill.

Indian authorities said Wednesday that 114 children have died in an encephalitis outbreak this month in eastern Bihar, one of the country's poorest states.

Mr. Kumar on June 18 visited the SKMCH hospital, where he faced protests by angry people over the deaths.

Vardhan had on Sunday visited the families of the children suffering from suspected AES in Bihar and deployed another high-level multi-disciplinary team at the state. The report observed that nine ventilators were present but not made operational at SKMCH and no ventilators were present in Kejriwal Hospital. The Chief Minister also held a review meeting with the doctors and health officials to take stock of the situation.

Fresh deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) have been reported in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district, taking the total number of casualties to 113.

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"We discussed the socio-economic profile of the households which have reported such cases, their nutrition profiles, ongoing heatwave, reported high percentage of hypoglycemia in children who have died, prevailing health infrastructure in the district and other factors that could significantly be considered in these cases", the minister said.

The Commission also wanted to know about the status of the treatment being provided to the now hospitalised children and the relief provided by the state to the aggrieved families. The districts will be decided in consultation with the state government and can be funded through the National Health Mission (NHM), he said. It has also recommended constituting a research team from the National Centre for Disease Control, Indian Council for Medical Research, AIIMS Patna, National Institute of Virology, Pune and Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna to focus research not only on the children who have been admitted with AES but also others within the same geographical area to understand the risks.

Dr. Shahi said, now there is no shortage of doctors and administration is doing its best to save the lives of children. Sometime back, Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh suffered a lot due to Japanese Encephalitis when about 60 children lost their lives.

The first few cases of AES and JE were reported from Muzzafarpur and Gaya, in Bihar, as early as 12 June, prompting the state Health Minister to call on Dr.

Anguished by the deaths, a Muzaffarpur resident has filed a petition at a local court against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Modi, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Minister of State Ashwini Choubey and State Health Minister Mangal Pandey.

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