With the onset of rains, no fresh Acute Encephalitis Syndrome case has been reported in Muzaffarpur district on Sunday even as the health department cracked its whip on a doctor who was asked to report for duty in the brain fever-affected district, but failed to comply.
Dr Bhimsen Kumar, a senior resident doctor at the Patna Medical College Hospital, had been directed to report at the Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital in Muzaffarpur by June 19.
"He failed to do so and the department has taken a serious note of the lapse. He has been placed under suspension pending a departmental inquiry upon conclusion of which further action may be taken", Principal Secretary, Health, Sanjay Kumar told PTI over phone.
Meanwhile, the hospital superintendent, Sunil Kumar Shahi said "AES is known to strike when the summer heat is at its peak and the incidences plummet no sooner than rainfalls lash the area. The same is happening this time and no child has been admitted during the day so far with the complaint even though AES patients, who have been nursed back to recovery, are being discharged continuously".
The Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreak, which according to the state health department has affected about 20 out of the 40 districts in the state, has afflicted more than 600 children since June 1, killing close to 140.
However, Muzaffarpur has been the worst affected where 430 children have been admitted with the brain fever out of whom 109 have died in the hospital alone while a privately-owned Kejriwal hospital has admitted 162 patients and accounted for 20 deaths.
The high number of deaths this year has been mostly attributed to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar level which has been blamed on malnutrition coupled with poor children's propensity to consume unripe litichis, plucking these from orchards or picking up the ones fallen on the ground.