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    Encephalitis outbreak in Bihar: All you need to know

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    ​Encephalitis horror
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    ​Encephalitis horror

    In a tragic news, over 100 children have lost their life in Bihar after consuming toxic lychee fruit. According to several reports, the fruit was found to be infested with virus and the patients showed symptoms similar to that of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), a deadly brain disease.

    All of the kids experienced similar symptoms, with a sudden drop in the blood sugar levels which led to their untimely death.

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    ​What is Acute Encephalitis Syndrome?
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    ​What is Acute Encephalitis Syndrome?

    Recognised as AES, it is a neurological disorder which affects the brain and the limbic system when a specific strain of virus or a bacteria attacks the body.

    In the recent case, the virus found in the lychee fruit entered the body and attacked the immune system as well as the brain. Since the disease majorly inflames the vessels in the brain, it is also known as brain fever.

    In pic: Children showing symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome undergoing treatment in Muzaffarpur.

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    ​Symptoms
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    ​Symptoms

    According to Dr Chandril Chugh, though hard to identify, the symptoms of the disease spread rapidly, attacking important cells in the brain. The most common symptoms include:

  • Dizziness, headache
  • Body aches
  • Fever, nausea, and vomiting
  • Fatigue, confusion, feeling anxious or acting or talking oddly
  • Vision impairment
  • Hearing loss
  • Back pain, weakness, trouble walking, or paralysis
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures or twitching
  • Unconsciousness
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    ​Treatment
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    ​Treatment

    The first treatment plan for this viral infection is hydration and increasing the glucose levels in the body. Adds Dr Chugh, "Nutrition and control of fever and seizures form the backbone of treating this disease. Some patients may also require breathing support and ICU care. In viral encephalitis, the antibiotics don't work and antivirals may be used."

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    ​How to prevent it?
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    ​How to prevent it?

    The first thing to do to stop the mosquito-borne disease is to keep the areas around your vicinity sanitised and stop the breeding of mosquitos. Doctors also suggest drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated which supplies essential vitamins and flushes out any toxins from the body.

    In other cases, getting vaccines for diseases like measles, mumps and varicella which affect children the most also help stay safe. As a precautionary measure, one should only consume fruits and vegetables procured from the harvest after washing thoroughly.

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