The Bihar Post

Suspected encephalitis claims its first life in Bihar, exposes govt’s ‘preparedness’

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PATNA—The suspected encephalitis has finally claimed its first life in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur dsitrict, which has been the nucleus of this deadly mysterious disease claiming several lives every year.

The victim Aditya Kumar, 3, who was undergoing treatment at Sri Krishna Memorial College and Hospital (SKMCH) at Muzaffarpur died last evening from suspected encephalitis.

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“Two children had been admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of the hospital. One of them has died,” hospital’s paediatric department head Dr Gopal Shankar Sahni told the media on Monday.

Hospital authorities said they have issued alert in view of the AES attacks.

The victim had been admitted to the hospital on Friday after he complained of high fever, convulsion and body ache but he collapsed barely a day later.

The incident has exposed the government’s preparedness to tackle the mystery disease that has claimed hundreds of lives in the past two decades.

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Last year, the state and the central governments had initiated a slew of measures to tackle the disease but the arrival of the disease so early has raised a question mark over their preparedness.

Health officials and the government had been claiming that the disease strikes with increase in mercury and humidity level but it’s not very hot still.

On Saturday, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar held a high-level meeting with the senior officials and ordered them to be fully prepared to treat the AES.

“The 100-bed paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) under progress at the SKMCH must be ready soon to provide timely treatment,” the chief minister said.

He also asked the officials to launch massive awareness drive about AES in the areas and maintain high level of hygiene in the affected areas.

The new disease strikes Bihar amid deadly corona already making life difficult for the common people.

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