Patna: 299 children have died of encephalitis in Bihar this year, state Health Minister Ashwani Chaube told the legislative council.
Muzaffarpur district alone accounted for 178 deaths, Mr Chaube said in reply to a question by JD(U) MLC Narendra Singh and CPI MLC Kedarnath Pandey today.
While 104 children died in Patna district, the casualties in Gaya and Vaishali districts stood at 12 and five respectively, Mr Chaube said.
The health minister said that a virology unit had been set up in the microbiology department of the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), while similar arrangements were being made at other major government hospitals across the state.
He said the health department has put in place adequate measures for treatment of encephalitis patients at various hospitals as a result of which the number of casualties was "much less" in comparison to the high number of patients contracting the disease.
The health department has also taken steps like fogging DDT and malathion in the encephalitis-affected rural areas of the affected districts, Mr Chaube said.
Mobile medical teams equipped with ambulances were deployed in the encephalitis-affected districts to treat the patients at their doorstep and transport the seriously-ill patients to the district hospitals.