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Meningitis claims 20 in Gaya
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | October 29, 2007 13:01 IST
Twenty persons, including a dozen children, have died of meningo-encephalitis (a combination of meningitis and encephalitis owing both to viral and bacterial infections) in Bihar's Gaya district in recent days.
But what is alarming is that nearly 100 patients are currently undergoing treatment in the Anugrah Narain Magadh Medical College and Hospital in Gaya.
After the deaths reported due to meningo-encephalitis, the Bihar government had sent a three-member team of doctors from Patna to Gaya to examine the patients undergoing treatment at the hospital.
The team of doctors rushed to Gaya on Sunday after it was feared that the disease may take the form of an outbreak soon if its spread was not checked.
"We have collected samples and sent them for test to the Pune based national institutue of virology to confirm the cause of the disease. It will will take at least a week's time before we will start proper treatment," Dr Navin Kumar, one of the members of the team, told rediff.com over telephone on Monday.
Dr Khursheed Alam, superintendent of the hospital in Gaya, confirmed the deaths due to meningo-encephalitis in the last few days.
He also admitted that at present 93 patients have been admitted in the hospital and were undergoing treatment. "Some of the patients are critical," Alam said.
According to Alam, over 150 meningo-encephalitis patients were admitted to the hospital in the last six weeks.
The number of deaths caused by meningitis is said to be much higher than the official figures. Most of the deaths go unreported in rural areas.