Patna/Muzaffarpur: Two more children died in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district on Sunday due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) even as officials asserted that afflictions and casualties had begun to dwindle with the onset of rains.
Both the deaths took place at the S K Medical College and Hospital, where 431 children, including two in the past 12 hours, have been admitted for AES treatment since June 1, according to figures released by the district administration. The total number of AES patients who have died at the SKMCH is 110.
“There is a perceptible decline in the number of children who are being admitted with brain fever as also the number of deaths,” hospital superintendent Sunil Kumar Shahi said. “It has always been observed that AES strikes at the peak of summer and the outbreak halts with the onset of rains.”
Two fresh cases have been registered, one on Saturday and another on Sunday, Shahi said.
Besides the SKMCH, the Kejriwal hospital in the Muzaffarpur town has so far registered 162 AES cases and 20 casualties.
The Health Department put the total number of AES casualties across 20 districts at 152. These include the 130 deaths reported at the two Muzaffarpur-based hospitals, which have been admitting AES patients from nearly half a dozen districts in its proximity.
It also suspended Bhimsen Kumar, a senior resident doctor posted at the Patna Medical College Hospital, for allegedly failing to comply with the direction to report for emergency duty at the SKMCH.
We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.
Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.
Meanwhile, a huge chunk of plaster fell off the ceiling at the SKMCH in the afternoon and came crashing down on the ground, barely a few feet away from a patients’ ward.
Nobody was injured in the incident, which took place a day after human skeletal remains were found strewn near a garbage dump close to the hospital building.
Experts attribute the deaths to hypoglycemia which typically affects malnourished children below the age of 15 years and said to be triggered by consumption of unripe lychees — a fruit grown in abundance in Bihar. The fruit contains a high concentration of a toxin that causes blood-sugar levels to fall sharply.
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.