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AES claims one more life in Muzaffarpur, death toll rises to 154 in Bihar

Children with acute encephalitis syndrome undergo treatment at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.

Children with acute encephalitis syndrome undergo treatment at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

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Number of casualties across the State is 154, says Health dept.

The Acute Encephalitis Syndrome claimed one more life in Muzaffarpur on Wednesday, raising the toll in the north Bihar district, the worst affected by the outbreak, to 132, while the number of casualties across the State was 154, officials said.

The death in Muzaffarpur was reported from privately-owned Kejriwal hospital where 21 of 165 AES patients admitted since June 1 had died. The previous casualty reported at the hospital was on June 20.

According to figures released by the Muzaffarpur district administration, no fresh case or casualty caused thereof had been reported from the government-run SKMCH hospital which, with 436 registered cases and 111 deaths since the beginning of this month, had been dealing with the worst of the outbreak.

According to data provided by the Health department in Patna, 23 of the 40 districts had so far been affected and the number of cases registered since June 1 was 729.

The number of deaths was 154 and the casualties reported at Muzaffarpur included children brought in for treatment from adjoining districts such as Vaishali and East Champaran.

The Health department attributed the cause of at least 120 deaths to hypoglycemia — one of the many pathological conditions that fall under the umbrella term AES — characterised by sudden drop in blood sugar levels.

Experts say malnourished children, under the age of 15, are vulnerable to the condition triggered by, among other things, a toxin found in unripe litchis — the luscious fruit grown in abundance in north Bihar.

Some deaths had also been attributed to sodium and potassium imbalances, caused by dehydration common in hot and humid weather.

However, pointing towards a drop in the incidence of fresh AES cases and casualties, authorities predicted further improvement as the outbreak, which typically strikes the region every year during peak summer, is known to subside with the onset of rains.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 3:54:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/aes-claims-one-more-life-in-muzaffarpur-death-toll-rises-to-154-in-bihar/article28159206.ece

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