Muzaffarpur in Bihar, famous for sweet litchi, is in the news due to some other reason these days. This year, 100 children have died due to encephalitis syndrome (chamki fever) in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.
Since 1995, this mysterious disease has made its prey to children here. In the last two decades, more than 5000 children have died in the country due to acute encephalitis syndrome.
Every year in the month of May and June, the children of different towns of Bihar come under the scourge of this disease and the process of dying of children starts.
Children of 1 to 15 years of age are more affected from this disease. It is also called brain fever. It is such a dangerous and mysterious disease that experts have not yet figured out the exact reason behind it.
In this fever, there is a lack of sugar and sodium in the blood of children. Due to not getting proper treatment at the right time, death may occur. In summer, there is a shortage of water in the body due to strong sunlight and sweating.
For this reason symptoms like dehydration, low blood pressure, headache, fatigue, paralysis, epilepsy, and lack of appetite can be felt.
This disease affects the body’s nervous system. Acute encephalitis syndrome increases the speed of excessive heat and humidity. It also increases its intensity in this season.
Relation Between Litchi Fruit and Encephalitis Syndrome
The relationship of this disease has also been linked to litchi fruit, which was established following a research published in London’s medical journal ‘The Lancet‘.
It has been said in this journal that naturally occurring substances Hypoglycein-A and Methyl EncyclopaPilGlacin found in unripe litchi and these chemicals are found in small quantities in the full-grown litchi fruits.
Especially when the level of blood sugar in the body is low due to not eating the dinner, and the empty stomach litchi is eaten in the morning, then the risk of chamki fever increases.
How Do Encephalitis Syndrome Virus Work?
Encephalitis is actually a human brain disorder. There are millions of cells and nerves in our brain. The body parts work with them. When these cells have swelling or any other discomfort, this is called acute encephalitis syndrome.
This is an infectious disease. When its viruses enter the body and become involved in blood, they start reproduction. After this, their numbers grow rapidly.
With blood, the disease virus reaches the brain. Upon reaching the brain, these viruses cause swelling in the cells and spoil the body’s central nervous system.
What Are The Symptoms of Encephalitis Syndrome?
Sign and symptoms of encephalitis syndrome may include:
- It starts with high fever in the beginning
- After this, cramping starts in the children’s body
- After this the nervous system stops working
- Blood sugar level goes down
- Children become unconscious due to high fever
- Jaws and teeth become tight
- Nervousness starts with fever, and sometimes the condition of going to a coma is also made
If the sufferers of the fever do not get treatment at the right time then death is certain.
What To Do If Having Encephalitis Syndrome ?
While having encephalitis syndrome disease, following precautions may help :
- Giving the water to infected individuals to drink will help them stay hydrated and avoid diseases
- After a high fever, wipe out the entire body with fresh water.
- Apply a wet cloth strip on the forehead so that the fever get reduced
- Remove the cloth from the baby’s body and keep its neck straight
- Doctors advice to give the children paracetamol pill and other syrup
- If a saliva or foam is coming out from the child’s mouth, then wipe it out with a clean cloth to avoid trouble in breathing
- Continuously pouring the solution of the ORS to the children
- Cover the patient’s eyes with a bandage to protect them from high light
- In case of unconsciousness and stroke, put the patient in the airy place
If your child shows symptoms of Encephalitis Syndrome, then :
- First stop the child from going to the sun
- If the child comes in contact with a strong sun, then there will be a problem of dehydration, which increases the severity of the disease
- Children should have a bath twice a day
- At the time of summer, children should drink ORS or lemon-water-sugar slurry
- Eat/drink Sugar-salt solution, buttermilk, sugarcane, plenty of watermelon, melon and cucumber
Vaccine is available in government hospitals to prevent the disease, which should have been given to the children of the affected area, which could be overcome.
However, now awareness will have to be spread and people have to motivate for vaccination. By taking vaccination and focusing on children, some extent can be avoided by this disease.
Encephalitis is an infectious disease, which can easily spread from one person to another.
After any person gets infected with this disease, in contact with the secretion of urine, sputum, sneezing etc. (other than the fluid from the body), the person can also get the virus of Encephalitis.
One form of encephalitis is Japanese fever, which spreads due to mosquitoes.
To protect yourself from acute encephalitis syndrome, you should keep clean around your home.
In Bihar, children who are suffering from fever, most of them children are from poor families. These children are victims of malnutrition due to poverty.
These children are physically weak due to lack of proper arrangements for eating and drinking. The immune system of these children is also very weak. In such cases, these children are quickly affected by the virus.
The blood sugar of these children falls very quickly and they die due to lack of treatment.