Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) has taken over 130 lives in the past one month. As per the reports, the syndrome has claimed over 105 lives of children below 10. The victims died till date are main cause of the AES outbreak. The encephalitis syndrome is affecting the nervous system of children and adults due to which the deaths toll is rising everyday in Bihar. The disease is also known as 'Chamki fever'.

According to the National Centre for Disease Control officials, Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreaks in Bihar have been reported since 1995. This year the main cause of death in most cases has been alleged to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level). AES outbreaks in the north and eastern India have been linked to children eating unripe litchi fruit on empty stomachs.

What is Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES)?
Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) including Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is a very complex disease caused by the group of several different viruses, bacteria, fungus, parasites, spirochetes, chemical/ toxins etc.

The syndrome can also be caused by several agents like dengue, mumps, measles, even Nipah or Zika virus. While in several cases, the cause of AES remains clinically unidentified

What are the symptoms of AES?
The starting symptoms include high fever which then develops by hampering neurological functions leading to sudden high fever, headache, body ache, vomiting, mental disorientation, seizure, confusion, delirium, and coma.  

What are the prevention from AES?
Increase access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities
Improve the nutritional status of children at risk of JE/AES

As per Government guidelines, two doses of JE vaccine have been approved to be included in UIP to be given one along with measles at the age of 9 months and the second with DPT booster at the age of 16-24 months.

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