More than 100 children in Bihar have lost their lives. But, is it litchi that is killing them?
Litchi Fruit contains a toxin called Methylene cyclopropyl- glycine which affects the brain when body sugar levels are low because of undernourishment. Or is there any other reason of large no. of deaths?
Here we will tell you about every fact behind this mysterious death of children in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.
What is Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES)?
Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has become a serious health problem in India. At the beginning of its symptoms, patients get the high fever which starts hampering neurological functions leading to mental discomfit, seizure, confusion, coma, Delirium. This disease majorly affects children and young adults.
These AES diseases are spreading through Viruses and some other sources such as bacteria, fungus, Chemicals, toxins. Japanese encephalitis Virus (JEV) is the major reason for AES in India. Zika virus & Nipah virus is also found as causative agents for AES.
Symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) also known as Chamki Fever
The AES infected person has severe symptoms such as;
Neck & Back stiffness
Weak Immune system
Who can get easily affected by the AES?
Malnutrition’s people & children are easily affected by AES. These viruses are spreading in a rural area vastly. People with a weak immune system are also affected.
No. of AES affected patients in India
National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) data shows yearly Death toll in Muzaffarpur, which are;
- In 2009: 95 Deaths happened
- In 2010: 24 Deaths
- In 2011 & 2012: 197 & 275 respectively, deaths were recorded.
- In 2013: 143 people had lost their lives
- In 2014: maximum rate of death had been noticed which was 355.
- In 2018: 10,485 AES cases were reported with 632 deaths across India.
- In 2019: No. of death till Monday was 103.
- The fatality rate in AES is increased to 25% from 6% amongst children.
- From AES virus Bihar, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Tripura, Assam and Jharkhand are affected in maximum rate.
Connection of Litchi with Deaths
According to Bihar Government AES is a syndrome, not a disease. They said that the cause of death is prolonged Hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar) due to which the treatment was delayed and resulted in the current scenario. Most of the children who have died in Muzzafarpur had eaten litchi. Eating litchi in maximum capacity had a worse impact on children who were undernourished & remain hungry for several hours. But, Litchi is not only the reason of deaths.
The scientist has found that a toxin present in Litchi fruit may be linked to the inflammation of the brain.
Prevention from AES
- Wearing Long sleeved clothes
- Follow good hygiene habit such as washing hands, before & after eating foods.
- Have healthy meals.
- Keep your immune system strong.
- Keep your immune system healthy by eating right
- Protection against mosquitoes is necessary for everyone.
- Take recommended vaccinations
- Location: India
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