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Encephalitis claims 55 lives in Bihar

As many as 55 people, mostly children, have died in Bihar in the last one-and-a-half months due to encephalitis, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

The union health and family welfare minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said clinical and epidemiological data suggests that it was an outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome resulting in 150 cases and 55 deaths, mostly among children.

In a written reply, the health minister said these cases were reported during early June to middle July. He said cases of encephalitis, a rare brain inflammation caused by a virus, were reported from Muzaffarpur and its bordering areas in Bihar.

Ghulam Nabi Azad said rapid response teams (RRTs) consisting of experts in epidemiology, entomology, microbiology and medicine have been trained and positioned at district, state and central levels to mount rapid response to disease outbreaks.

The health minister said RRTs at central level are dispatched to affected areas as and when the need arises to support local health authorities in prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment of outbreak-prone diseases. [Source: IANS]

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