Seven more children died of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome-like symptoms in Bihar in last 24 hours, taking the toll to 43 even as new cases are being reported, officials said on Thursday.
With the toll feared to go up as dozens of kids were still being treated in various hospitals, the state and Central governments are scrambling to contain the spread of the disease.
Regional Additional Director, Health, Ashok Kumar Singh, who is based in Muzaffarpur that has been worst hit by the disease outbreak, confirmed deaths of 43 children so far
As many as 36 children died in the government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) and seven in the private Kejriwal hospital as of Wednesday evening, he said.
With dozens of children undergoing treatment, Singh did not rule out more deaths on Thursday even as some reports said that the toll had risen above 60.
Principal Secretary, Health, Sanjay Kumar admitted that many children with symptoms akin to AES are still undergoing treatment in Muzaffarpur and few new patients were also admitted in the hospitals in last 24 hours. Till date, 143 cases of AES have been reported from 11 districts – Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Samastipur, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, East Champaran, Patna, Gaya, Jehanabad, Bhojpur and Aurangabad. Kumar said that most of children died due to hypoglycaemia (loss of sugar in the blood) and shortage of sodium in their bodies after developing symptoms akin to AES.