Encephalitis: Symptoms and treatment of deadly disease that has so far claimed 67 lives in Bihar

What causes encephalitis and how is it treated

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Encephalitis: Symptoms and treatment of deadly disease that has so far claimed 67 lives in Bihar

The state health department in Bihar stated on Friday that Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has claimed the lives of 67 children in Muzzafarpur. 52 children have died in Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) while 15 died others died at private Kejriwal Hospital.

According to media reports, these children were infected with the encephalitis virus after consuming a toxic lychee fruit. There are speculations that these lychee fruits are infected with these viruses which caused the deadly fever that led to their deaths. The children after consuming the fruit showed symptoms of low blood sugar level that caused their death.

What causes encephalitis

Encephalitis is caused by a virus which causes inflammation in the brain and usually affects people with a weak immune system. Many Researchers have linked the spread of the disease to the lychee fruit and there are some among them who consider heat as a factor also. All the victims have fallen prey to hypoglycemia, a condition caused by a very low level of blood sugar and electrolyte imbalance


1. Headache

2. Poor Appetite

3. Fever

3. Loss of energy

4. Vision impairment

5. Hearing loss

6. Body ache

7. Unconsciousness

8. Nausea

9. Vomiting

Treatment of encephalitis:

Children suffering from encephalitis should be kept in Intensive Care Unit.

They should be treated with corticosteroids to reduce brain swelling, anticonvulsants to treat seizures, and Acetaminophen for fevers and headaches.

"Centre and Bihar government are doing their best. I have assured of providing all possible help. The numbers of cases are declining. I am sure the situation will be contained soon," Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told ANI.

The health minister's comment comes after as many as 57 children died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar's Muzaffarpur while another 130 are hospitalised.

"A team of experts and senior doctors from centre visited the hospitals and are advising the state government there. I have held two meetings with the Bihar health minister. We are further analyzing the situation," the union minister said.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has already directed the officials concerned to ensure that preventive measures were taken in the affected districts, though deaths have so far been reported from Muzaffarpur only.

(With PTI inputs)

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