Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday candidly admitted that it was a challenge for the state government to deal with the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar that has claimed the lives of over 90 children since May this year.

The death of children due to brain fever and related symptoms in Gaya, Muzaffarpur and Koshi region has been a matter of grave concern and tackling the disease has proved to be a big challenge, he told reporters on the sidelines of the Janata Durbar.

Kumar claimed that there has been no confirmation of the symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis among the patients suffering from the AES.

The state has been reeling under heat wave and humid weather conditions this year which was the main cause of the outbreak of the disease and the death of children in large numbers could have been reduced if the affected children had have been admitted to hospital in time, Kumar said.

Efforts have been made in the past two years to contain the disease by the doctors and medical experts, he said, adding that a research centre will assistance of the Centre will come up at Muzaffarpur and Gaya to deal with the specific health problem.

On the death of a suspected Indian Muzahideen (IM) operative Qatil Ahmed in Yarvada jail in Pune last week by another inmate, he said that he has spoken to his Maharashtra counterpart Prithviraj Chavan.

Ahmed's kins had demanded a CBI probe into the case and help to bring the body back to his home, Kumar said, adding that the body was brought yesterday to for burial.


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