What is Acute Encephalitis Syndrome?

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Acute Encephalitis Syndrome

Every year, this poses a severe public health challenge, especially for kids and the elderly. Healthwire gives you a lowdown . As reports of 45 children dying in Bihar pour in,  and doctors seem perplexed about arresting a life threatening condition, the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome has once again reared its ugly head.

According to  doctors, high temperature along with excessive humidity is considered to be an ideal situation of Acute Encephalitis syndrome. Since 2010, 398 children have died in Muzaffarnagar due to suspected AES.

Commonly known as brain fever, enchephalitis  is an acute inflammation of the brain, commonly caused by a viral infection. In rare cases, it can be caused by bacteria and fungi. The disease most commonly affects children and young adults and can lead to mortality. Particularly vulnerable are those who are malnourished and suffer from low immunity. There are two main types of encephalitis – primary and secondary encephalitis. Primary occurs when a virus directly affects the brain and spinal cord, secondary encephalitis occurs when an infection starts from elsewhere in the body and then travels to your brain.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of encephalitis_syndrome can range from mild to severe. Most people with viral encephalitis at first show mild symptoms, including headache, fever, vomiting, exhaustion. Severe symptoms include high fever, confusion, drowsiness, coma, unconsciousness and nausea.

What causes Encephalitis

Many different viruses cause AES——Herpes Simplex Virus, Mosquito-borne virus, Tick-borne virus, Rabies virus. The group most at the of risk encephalitis is generally young children, older adults, children under the age of 1, people with a weak immune system. You may also have a higher risk of getting encephalitis if you live in an area where mosquito and ticks are common.

Prevention and Treatment:

The best way to prevent viral encephalitis is to take precautions to avoid exposure to viruses and you should call your doctor if you have symptoms of AES. Practise good hygiene. Wash hands frequently with

soap and water after using the toilet and before and after meals. Don’t share your personal towel,

clothes, and utensils. Keep your own and your children’s vaccinations updated. Apply mosquito repellents.

Treatment for mild encephalitis_Syndrome usually consists of bed rest and having plenty of fluids. The encephalitis caused by certain viruses usually requires antiviral treatment. There is an urgent need of an awareness drive about the complexities of this virulent disease.

 

Author : Shalini Bisht

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