"Now, my priority is to ensure 100 percent immunization of children in encephalitis affected areas. I will launch this campaign from Muzaffarpur (Bihar)," Harsh Vardhan, who arrived here on Friday night, told reporters.

Harsh Vardhan will Saturday visit Muzaffarpur district - worst hit by the encephalitis - to personally take stock of the situation. In the past three-week, the suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has claimed lives of 130 children in Bihar, mostly in Muzaffarpur.

The Union Minister said Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has requested him to launch the initiative to check the disease. The Centre was serious to tackle the situation, he added.

The disease, limited to Muzaffarpur till last week, has now spread to Vaishali, Samastipur, Sheohar, East Champaran, Sitamarhi, Begusarai, Bhagalpur and Gaya districts.

According to doctors, the AES is a severe case of encephalitis characterized by inflammation of the brain. Mosquitoes transmit the infection, causing high fever among the children.


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