Altogether 100 children have died and 57 others were undergoing treatment at various hospitals due to outbreak of the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar since May this year, state's Health Minister Ashwani Chaube said today.
The remaining children were cured during treatment at the hospitals, Chaube said.
Giving the break-up, the health minister said that 93 children were admitted in the private Kejriwal hospital with symptoms of the AES and of them 32 died even as 24 others were recuperating there, while in the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital, also located in Muzaffarpur, 16 children have died due to AES.
The death toll in the Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College and Hospital stood at 10, while the figure at the PMCH in Patna stood at 42, he said.
Most of the deaths due to fever and related symptoms took place as the patients were brought to hospital in critical condition since the parents took them to quacks or undertook others means to cure them, the health minister said.
He said that the symptoms of the AES have been identified but it required tests of various dimensions to identity the specific symptom and it was possible only at the laboratory to identity viral-related symptoms. The state government had last year requested the Centre to set up such a laboratory in Bihar.
A laboratory to diagnose viral fever related symptoms have been set up at Gorakhpur where the cases of the Japanese Encephalitis has declined in recent years, but the centre was yet to consider request to set up such a laboratory in Bihar, Jharkhand and Poorvanchal region despite the need for it, Chaube said.
The central government has also not taken the initiative for mass vaccination to prevent the outbreak of the AES despite a request made by the state government in this regard, the health minister said, adding that he would visit New Delhi shortly to meet Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad to demand three lakh vaccinations for children below 15 years.
Chaube said that the state government will soon prepare a detailed project report to set up infrastructure for testing Japanese Encephalitis in Patna, Gaya and Muzaffarpur districts.
On declaring AES an epidemic, he said that such a demand has been made from various quarters, including the medical fraternity and the state government will make a recommendation to the Centre in this regard.