Encephalitis Outbreak: At Least 100 Children Dead in Bihar, India

Encephalitis Outbreak: At Least 100 Children Dead in Bihar, India

It observed that despite reported measures taken by the government agencies, deaths of children in such large number indicated a possible flaw in the implementation of vaccination and awareness programmes.

Bihar health secretary Sanjay Kumar said 106 children had died and more than 430 others between the ages of 4 and 10 were being treated at hospitals in Muzaffarpur district, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Patna, the state capital. They included 88 deaths reported from the SKMCH and 19 from a charitable Kejriwal Hospital.

The Chief Minister and his Deputy visited children admitted at the hospital as well as their parents and left without stopping to acknowledge the protesters.

Ten more children died Tuesday from a mysterious brain fever potentially linked to lychees, officials said, taking the death toll to 113 this month and sparking angry protests in India's poorest Bihar state.

At least 100 children have succumbed to the Encephalitis virus in the Indian city of Muzaffarpur in Bihar state over the last few days.

Instructions were also issued for equipping primary health centres with necessary facilities so that children with symptoms of AES in remote areas could be provided with medical attention closer home since, in several cases, the time involved in travelling to the district headquarters and seeking admission to hospitals had led to worsening of the condition of patients. The response to the notice is expected within four weeks.

It said this was a case of violation of human rights of the child victims and their families, as the state appeared to have failed to protect young innocent lives. Sometime back, Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh suffered a lot due to Japanese Encephalitis when about 60 children lost their lives.

The state's health minister came in for particular flak after asking reporters about the score in India's cricket match against Pakistan on Sunday during a news conference on the crisis.

The Commission was informed that the Union government has initiated the NPPCJA in this regard. Harsh Vardhan, Indian Union Health Minister, said, "To establish the cause of the disease, there is urgent need for an inter disciplinary, high quality research team".

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