The Bihar Post

Viral fever strikes children in Bihar as hospitals run out of beds


PATNA—Hospitals are running out of beds as viral fever has spread in a virulent form in Bihar, striking primarily children in the age-group of six to 14 years. Currently, more than 1,200 children are admitted to various hospitals with several districts in the grip of viral fever.

Health authorities said majority of the children suffer from respiratory problems, gastrointestinal infections, pneumonia and high fever. Every day, hundreds of children are being rushed to the hospitals, thus crowding the health facilities.

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The present situation is such that all the four big government hospitals in Patna, such as the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are crowded with children with viral fever.

Officials said there are a total of 467 beds earmarked for children in all these four government hospitals of which 390 beds are currently full. Similarly, more than 250 children have been admitted to two prominent hospitals in Muzaffarpur while another 50 children are undergoing treatment in Bhagalpur medical college.

Keeping in view the seriousness of the situation, health department has rushed teams of experts to affected districts to find out the reasons behind the outbreak of viral fever.

“We are keeping a close watch on the situation and have rushed various teams to the spot to find out the causes of fever,” state health society’s executive director Sanjay Kumar has told the media.

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Such teams have been rushed in six districts, such as Siwan, Buxur, Saran, Gopalganj, East Chmaparan and West Champaran which are in severe grip of the viral fever although several others districts have come under its impact.

Patna AIIMS’s paediatrics department head Dr Lokesh Tiwari said the reason behind the viral infections among the children is unknown virus. “Distant locations in the state have suddenly come in the grip of viral fever, and the children suffer from stiffness in breathing tube and lung infections if there is delay in treatment,” Dr Tiwari said.

PMCH’s superintendent Dr IS Thakur said the number of children admitted to the hospital exceeded the beds but they had arranged extra beds on the floor. NMCH superintendent Dr Binod Kumar Singh narrated the same problem saying as many as 87 children have admitted to the hospital against the total bed capacity of 84 in the paediatric ward.

The outbreak of viral fever posing serious challenge to the state government comes amid the people still battling COVID-19 and fear of its possible third wave continues to worry them a lot.

A panel set up by the central government, in its latest report, has warned that a third wave of Covid-19 pandemic could peak around October. It said the public healthcare system should have better medical preparedness for children who might be at similar risk as adults.

Apparently, this is the reason the people are crowding the vaccination centres in Bihar before it is late. So far, more than 41 million populations have been vaccinated. Of them, 34 millions have got the first dose while 6.99 people have received both the doses.

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