Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan meets Bihar government officials as Acute Encephalitis Syndrome claims 102 lives

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday arrived in Bihar on Sunday to hold discussions over the outbreak of viral infection Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) that has claimed the lives of 102 children in the state. Addressing a press conference after meeting Minister of State for Health Aswini Kumar Choubey, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey and the doctors of Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the number of cases of AES have come down considerably in the recent past. The Union Minister expressed sadness over the deaths of children and said that it is painful for everyone.

Dr Harsh Vardhan said that Bihar need state-of-the-art research facility to tackle the outbreak of this disease. He added that other organisations of the country which are involved in finding cure for AES must work together. According to the Union Health Minister, AES affects a child suddenly and it affects a large number of children within no time.

Dr Harsh Vardhan also said that infrastructure has been set-up in Muzaffarpur for the test of AES-causing virus but the government is will set-up 4-5 virology in Bihar very soon. He also said that steps should be taken to eradicate the mosquitoes which cause this viral fever. Ambulance services should be improved so that the patients can reach the hospitals safely. Dr Harsh Varshan assured that Centre would provide all financial and technical help to Bihar government to tackle this disease.

Meanwhile, District Magistrate of Muzaffarpur had said on Friday that for students till Class eight, schools will remain closed till June 22 and for students in higher standards, classes will be held only till 10.30 am. Encephalitis is a viral disease, which causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions and headaches and has been claiming lives in the district for the past few weeks.

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