Children deaths: Central team to visit Bihar

An outbreak of suspected Japanese Encephalitis in Bihar has claimed 26 lives in a week.

New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Monday said it will send a Central team on Tuesday to Muzaffarpur in Bihar where an outbreak of suspected Japanese Encephalitis has claimed the lives of 26 children in a week.

The three-member team will consist of Dr SK Jain, joint director of National Centre for Disease Control, BR Thapar, joint director of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) and Dr IP Choudhary, senior specialist (paediatrics) in Safdarjung Hospital.

"An Indian Council of Medical Research expert from Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, who is already in the field with National Institute of Virology (Pune) team, would also coordinate with this Central the team," a Health Ministry official said.

The team would leave tomorrow morning, the official said.

Four children died of the fever in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 26 in a span of seven days.

Three of the children died at the Kejriwal Hospital and another at the Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital in Muzaffarpur town, Around 30 children were being treated at the two hospitals.

Superintendent of Kejriwal Hospital Dr BB Giri said the symptoms were fever, memory loss, convulsions and coma.

"To me, these are the cases of encephalitis, but only a study of the cases and blood samples can provide an answer," he said.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had earlier urged Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad to send a Central team to the affected area.


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