Muzaffarpur (Bihar) [India], Jun 15 (ANI): The death toll of children in Muzaffarpur district affected by Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) on Saturday mounted to 77.
In Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), 66 children have lost their lives while in Kejriwal hospital, the toll touched to 11.
In the wake of the fatalities, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to families of the children who died due to AES in Muzaffarpur. He has also given directions to the health department, district administration and doctors to take necessary measures to fight the disease.
Earlier in the day, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey said the state government is doing its best to save children.
Speaking to ANI, Pandey said doctors and nurses are being called in from Patna for additional help.
"We are trying everything and anything that can save children's lives. Everything is being made available from medicines to doctors. We have even called doctors and nurses from AIIMS in Patna," he said. "There is a protocol regarding what kind of medicines and facilities should be given and we are doing the same. We are monitoring things regularly and trying to save our children," he said.
Recalling the situation that prevailed five years ago, Pandey said a team that was formed to ascertain the cause of this disease concluded that sleeping empty stomach at night, dehydration due to humidity and eating lychee on empty stomach were some of the causes of Encephalitis.
"Our government has tried to spread awareness which will be beneficial as well. Advertisement in newspapers, radio jingles, pamphlets and mic announcements are going to spread awareness regarding the disease. Health ministry is also working on it," he said.
"This incident in Muzaffarpur is very saddening and we also feel bad when children of our nation die like this. Not the whole district is affected but a large part is suffering from it," he added.
Encephalitis is a viral disease, which causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions and headaches and has been claiming lives in the district for the past few weeks. (ANI)