Bihar health minister blames humidity for encephalitis deaths

Patna: Death toll due to encephalitis (brain fever) rose to 77 on Friday. Health minister, Mangal Pandey, who visited Muzaffarpur hospitals for the first time said 67 children died at Muzaffarpur and ten in the adjoining Vaishali district. Pandey said 187 children are being treated in the government and private hospitals.

The minister claimed due to rising humidity and scorching sun, children were dying. He said 42 more beds have been added for encephalitis patients in the government-run SK Memorial hospital.

Minister said district magistrates of 12 districts in North Bihar have been directed to launch awareness campaign in the rural areas and seek cooperation of the people’s representatives. Parents should be asked not to send their children to the litchi producing gardens.

Six more ambulances were given to SKM hospital where ten doctors from Patna have been sent for treatment of the children.

District SP of Muzaffarpur, Ashok Kumar, said the police vehicles would also be used to bring the children to the hospitals as majority of them were poor and their guardians could not afford transportation cost.

By CHHAYA MISHRA

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