Lychee Havoc in Bihar: Panic Grips State as Death Toll Due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome Climbs to 47
Encephalitis in Bihar (Photo Credits: IANS)

Patna, June 13: The death toll due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Bihar's Muzaffarpur has jumped to 47. According to a tweet by ANI, Dr. Shailesh Prasad Singh, Civil Surgeon, Muzaffarpur informed on Thursday that a total of 47 children have lost their lives due to encephalitis. As the number of cases went on increasing, extreme anxiety and panic gripped the state, with dozens of seriously ill children with symptoms of AES being rushed to the hospitals each day. Can Lychees Be Poisonous? Litchis Linked to Encephalitis Deaths in Muzaffarpur – How to Eat This Fruit Safely.

According to several media reports, there have been over 53 deaths in Muzaffarpur in the last 15 days, though the state Health Department has confirmed only 47 deaths of suspected AES during this period. Official figures put the number of reported AES cases this year at 47, up from 39 reported cases last year. On Wednesday, 31 children had died in Muzaffarpur due to to the deadly syndrome AES. 

Here's the tweet:

The outbreak of AES are very common in summer in areas in and around flood-prone north Bihar districts. The disease in locally known as "Chamki Bukhar" or "Mastishk Bukhar". The epidemic mostly affects children from poor families, below 10 years of age. The disease, Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, is a severe case of encephalitis transmitted by mosquitoes. It is characterised by high fever and inflammation of the brain.

In Muzaffarpur, Shri Krishna Memorial College Hospital (SKMCH) continues to recieve fresh cases of symptoms akin to AES on Wednesday. A five-member team of the central government on Wednesday visited Muzaffarpur to investigate the cause of the deaths of children. According to reports, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan along with Union Minister of State for Health Ashwani Kumar Choubey will visit Muzaffarpur to take stock of the situation.