Patna/Muzaffarpur: With six more deaths reported in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district, the death toll due to viral infection Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has reached 83 on Saturday.
The Muzaffarpur district administration had issued a statement on Friday evening saying that six children died in the state-run SKMCH hospital while three died at Kejriwal hospital, which is operated by a trust.
The Muzaffarpur district of Bihar is among the worst hit by the outbreak of brain fever.
In Vaishali, ten fresh cases of children suffering from AES had been reported.
The state health officials had been maintaining that deaths were due to hypoglycemia - a condition caused by a very low level of blood sugar and electrolyte imbalance.
According to Bihar Health Department's Principal Secretary Sanjay Kumar, the disease has affected 222 blocks of 12 districts especially Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sheohar and East Champaran.
State's Health Minister Mangal Pandey had on Friday visited the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur where several children have died due to AES.
Pandey met SKMCH Principal Dr (Professor) Bikash Kumar and other senior functionaries and inquired about the medical facilities to treat children suffering from AES.
Since June 1, 178 and 72 children were admitted in SKMCH and Kejriwal hospital respectively with suspected cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) but most of them were found to be victims of hypoglycemia.
Nine children undergoing treatment at SKMCH are serious, the release said, adding that five children are critical in Kejriwal hospital.
The Health Minister, who held a meeting with doctors and officials of the SKMCH, said that six more ambulances will be available there and a 100-bed new ward will be made operational soon.
The Kejriwal Hospital's management also agreed to increase the number of beds if the need arises, he said.
Pandey said creating awareness among the people is needed to prevent the outbreak of the disease.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has already directed the officials concerned to ensure that preventive measures were taken in the affected districts, though deaths have so far been reported from Muzaffarpur only.
A central government team of experts had visited Muzaffarpur on Wednesday.
(With Agency Inputs)