Via IBNLive.in.com: Acute Encephalitis Syndrome claims 4 lives, 16 kids under treatment.
Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has claimed the lives of four children in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar in the last one week, district civil surgeon Dr Gyan Bhushan said.
"According to our data, there have been four casualties till Wednesday evening, while 16 others are undergoing treatment at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital. All the children are in the age group of two to five years," he said.
Outbreak of AES has been reported in the pre-monsoon summer season in Muzaffarpur for the last few years. It continues throughout the monsoon, at times peaking around July-August. While doctors and researchers say heat and humidity provide ideal conditions for the spread of the disease, they have been unable to pinpoint the virus which causes it.
"Researchers from India and abroad are working in Muzaffarpur to isolate the virus responsible for causing AES. Once this is done then only medicines or vaccines could be developed. They are also trying to find whey the disease is limited to Muzaffarpur. One thing we are sure about that it is not infectious. As of now, we provide symptomatic treatment to the patients," Bhushan said.
The symptoms vary from high fever, body ache, stiffness of limbs to meningitis and coma. Usually the syndrome affects malnourished kids. The civil surgeon said that the health department is trying to increase general awareness about the disease.
Apart from maintaining basic hygiene, he said, kids should not be allowed to go to bed in empty stomach. They should not be left bare-bodied and not allowed to eat ripe fruits lying in orchards. AES is reported mainly from Assam, Bihar, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, which contribute around 80 per cent of AES cases in the country.