Encephalitis spreads to other districts of Bihar, toll at 114 -Ajay Kumar Pandey
-The Times of India
MUZAFFARPUR: The toll in the outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar rose to 114 on Wednesday with seven more deaths in the endemic zone even as reports came in of children being admitted with similar symptoms in other districts like Samastipur, Banka and Vaishali.
Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur, where most of the patients have been undergoing treatment since the disease spread, struggled to handle the spate of new admissions with its limited infrastructure. Sources at the hospital said the stream of high-profile visitors, including the chief minister and the Union health minister, was adding to the chaos.
The scarcity of beds and doctors continued even as the Bihar State Health Society issued a list of 15 doctors, technicians and nurses deputed by the Union health ministry to assist at the hospital. "All 637 beds, including 30 in the paediatric ICUs, are occupied. We have had to put two kids on one bed to accommodate more children," SKMCH superintendent Sunil Kumar Shahi said.
He admitted that there was a shortage of senior resident doctors in every department. "Though there is a shortage, it is inhuman to turn away patients just because we cannot accommodate them. Many of them have come from far-flung villages of north Bihar. Around 40 to 50 new cases of AES have been coming every day, but our resources are very limited."
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