The state government,which is already struggling to handle the increased number of acute encephalitis syndrome cases in eastern UP,now faces the fresh challenge of the acute rise in the number of cases from Bihar.
Despite special measures taken by the government this year like launching special sanitation campaigns to counter the spread of the disease,about 15 per cent rise in the number of AES cases has already been reported this year in the state.
About 1360 cases of AES have already been reported this year,out of which about 190 cases are from Bihar. We get cases from Bihar and Nepal each year but this year,the number of cases from Bihar has gone up by 40 per cent, said KP Kushwaha,senior doctor from BRD medical college.
In past 48 hours,10 children suffering from the disease have died at BRD medical college,out of which,four were from Bihar. Total AES deaths so far this year are 225.
When asked,Kushwaha said the trend in the type of cases reported in the state and from Bihar is not different from the previous years. Like previous years,majority of the cases are of enteroviruses only. Out of 1360 cases reported so far,only about 85 cases were Japanese Encephalitis positive.
Meanwhile,in BRD,about 420 patients have been admitted in its 180-bed Pediatric department. And of these 420 patients,230 are of AES and about 40 are from Bihar alone.
A senior government officer from the Health department said: There is rise in the number of AES cases but there is fall in the number of JE positive cases for which there is vaccination. Till last year,JE positivity used to be about 6 per cent but so far this year,it has been around 3.5 per cent only. He added the government has taken special measures this year like providing new hand pumps in the interior areas for deep boring,launching special sanitation campaign,and so on.
However,Dr RN Singh,a private practitioner,who has been working for encephalitis eradication,said, There is no doubt the government has taken good measures this year to control the disease but the problem is these measures came very late. More than 50 per cent of the hand pumps supplied by the government are yet to be installed.