Muzaffarpur: The death toll of children due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has risen to 54, after more than 22 children died on Thursday. Around 46 Children died at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital and eight at Kejriwal Hospital.

Earlier today, Dr Shailesh Prasad Singh, a civil surgeon in the city, announced that the death toll has increased by more than 15 in Muzaffarnagar as compared to Wednesday’s count of 31.

“137 people were admitted in SKMCH hospital out of whom 40 causalities were reported,” said Dr Shailesh Prasad Singh.  “41 people were admitted in Kejriwal Hospital where seven causalities were reported, taking the toll to 47,” Dr Singh added.

SKMCH paediatrician Dr G.S.Sahni said: “In children, the symptoms of AES are high fever, body stiffness and loss of consciousness. We’re informing the public to be aware of these.”

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan pitched for mounting extensive awareness campaigns, especially in the districts reporting a rise in the cases of both the disease.

The Health Department has also issued an advisory urging parents to prevent their children from playing under the sun when the temperature is around 42 to 43 degree Celsius.

Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is characterized by an acute onset of fever and clinical neurological manifestation that includes mental confusion, disorientation, delirium, or coma.