NEW DELHI: The death toll due to suspected acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in the Indian state of Bihar mounted to 136 on Friday, the state health department said. The total number of AES-afflicted children said to be under treatment has reached 600 children in 16 districts of the state. The maximum number of 117 deaths were reported from Muzaffarpur district.
Some 383 patients are being treated at Shri Krishna Medical College Hospital (SKMCH) while 152 at Kejriwal Hospital in the district. Doctors and officials are divided on the exact cause of the disease. Head of the department of pediatrics at SKMCH Gopal Shankar Sahni blamed the weather condition for the outbreak and rejected recent reports that claimed the diseases was caused by lychees. “Hot and extreme weather conditions were the reasons behind the deaths and not lychees as claimed,” he told Anadolu Agency.(AA)