Although, every year encephalitis hits north and central Bihar areas of Muzaffarpur, Gaya and adjoining districts, the state government has not been able to take effective steps for saving the lives of innocent children. In fact, months after the outbreak of the mysterious disease in Muzaffarpur, the government is still clueless on whether it was encephalitis or Japanese encephalitis (JE).
Health secretary, Sanjay Kumar, admits it, "As far as Muzaffarpur goes, we are still groping in the dark on whether it was JE or encephalitis. As far as Gaya is concerned, by and large experts have said it is JE."
Bihar has reported 386 cases of encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis this year, with the death toll being 89, according to the government.
A team from the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, had also come this year to collect blood samples, and cerebrospinal fluid tests were conducted on the affected children. Earlier, going by the symptoms, the NIV team had denied that it was JE. Its preliminary reports had also ruled out JE. Further reports of the Pune institute are still pending. A WHO team also visited the affected villages in Muzaffarpur district recently, collecting information about the disease. A Union health ministry team had, however, confirmed that it was encephalitis. However, it, too, had said the type of the virus was yet to be identified. Incidentally, NIV's last year report is still pending.
About reports of children developing neurological complications coupled with movement disorders, facial palsy and mental retardation, health secretary Sanjay Kumar said there was provision of further treatment of such patients under Nayi Peedhi Swasthya Guarantee Yojana. A mass immunization programme against encephalitis has been undertaken along with DDT and malathion spray in 485 villages in Gaya, Nawada, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Sitamarhi, West Champaran, Siwan, Gopalganj and Muzaffarpur districts for mosquito control, Kumar said, adding the immunization programme will continue over the next 18 to 24 months. JE virus mutates fast in pigs and migratory birds making it difficult for the government to sanitize the areas, he added.
According to Kumar, one major problem is that the patients, after being administered vaccine, develop acute encephalitis syndrome which makes the vaccine ineffective. On media reports that there was shortage of big valve masks (Ambu bags) at government hospitals, he said, "There is no shortage of big valve masks."
Encephalitis had earlier hit Gaya in 2009, 2007 and 2005. The disease broke out again on June 14 this year in the district.
|Comment: Please study intention and the mel- group in Letter M - Demeter, as this is associated with the no- code which precedes the mels which represent the skull, cross, and bone relationship. Both love and diet associate.|