Lychee Havoc in Bihar: Deaths Due to Encephalitis on The Rise in Muzaffarpur, Over a Dozen Admitted to Hospitals
Encephalitis in Bihar (Photo Credits: IANS)

Patna, June 12: Panic gripped Bihar as the state has been witnessing a rise in the number of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) cases, a vector borne disease. So far, 31 children have died in Muzaffarpur reportedly due to encephalitis syndrome (AES). Sunil Shahi, Superintendent SKMCH, Muzaffarpur, was quoted by ANI saying, “From Jan to June 2, 13 patients were admitted, of them 3 died. From June 2 to this day 86 people were admitted,of them 31 died".  In the wake of the growing number, the union ministry of health and family welfare on Tuesday constituted a multi-specialist high level team to tackle the situation. Can Lychees Be Poisonous? Litchis Linked to Encephalitis Deaths in Muzaffarpur – How to Eat This Fruit Safely.

However, several media reports claim that some 53 deaths have been reported in the past 10 days, though the state Health Department has confirmed only 31 deaths of suspected AES during this period. In 2018, a total of 40 AES cases were reported.  Dozens of seriously ill children with symptoms of AES have been admitted in several hospitals across the state.

Here's the tweet:

Acute Encephalitis Syndrome is a severe case of encephalitis transmitted by mosquitoes and is characterised by high fever and inflammation of the brain.  In Bihar, AES outbreaks are a routine in summer in areas in and around flood-prone north Bihar districts. The disease is locally known as "Chamki Bukhar" or "Mastishk Bukhar" and mostly affects children from poor families, below 10 years of age.  The hospitals are reverberating with the cries and wailing of helpless parents as children continue to die of suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the Health Department was keeping close watch and had directed people about the preventive measures. "Ahead of rains (monsoon), every year this disease creates havoc. It is a matter of concern that every year children die due to it."