From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : AES
Mains level : Preventing Child Mortality
- An epidemic of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has broken out in five north Bihar districts, with more than 50 children having died in the last nine days.
- Locally known as Chamki Bukhar, at least 400 children have died in the last one decade due to AES in these districts.
What is AES?
- AES is a clinical condition most widely caused by infection with Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) or other infectious and non-infectious causes.
Symptoms of AES
- The signs and symptoms of AES include – an acute onset of fever, headache and clinical neurological manifestation that includes mental confusion, disorientation, delirium, or coma.
Who is at risk?
- People in rural areas where the virus is common are at greater risk.
- But the incidence was highest among children 0-6 years of age.
- People with weakened immune system – for instance, who have HIV/AIDS, take immune-suppressing drugs – are at an increased risk of encephalitis.
Treatment for AES
- People suffering from encephalitis need to be treated urgently.
- Treatment may include antiviral medication, steroid injections among others to support the body, relieve the symptoms.
- Other treatment options are – bed rest, plenty of fluids, anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the symptoms such as fever and headache.
- There is no cure for the disease. However, safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent encephalitis.