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Encephalitis claims lives of 54 children in Bihar's Muzaffarpur

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Patna, June 13: More than 54 kids died due to encephalitis in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district. Out of these 54, 46 died at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital and eight at Kejriwal Hospital due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES), said reports.

However, the government maintained that the casualties were not related to the outbreak but were caused by hypoglycemia.

Encephalitis claims lives of 47 children in Bihars Muzaffarpur

So far 143 cases of AES have been reported from 11 districts of Vaishali, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, East Champaran, Patna, Nalanda, Muzaffarpur, Jehanabad, Gaya, Bhojpur and Aurangabad.

"We can confirm the data as on June 10. Till that date, 34 deaths had taken place and 109 cases of chamki bukhar (brain fever) reported. None of the deaths, so far, has been caused by AES. The casualties were a result of hypoglycemia - abnormally low level of sugar in the blood or deficiency of sodium and/or potassium - caused by intense heat and humidity," he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Encephalitis, or Japanese encephalitis (JE), is a vector-borne viral infection that leads to acute inflammation (swelling) of the brain. If not spread through vectors, encephalitis could be a result of body's immune system attacking brain tissues.

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JE is an infection of the brain caused by the Japanese encephalitis virus, its symptoms may include headache, vomiting, fever, confusion, and seizures.

The Health Department has also issued an advisory urging parents to prevent their children from playing under the sun when temperature is hovering between 42 to 43 degree Celsius. Acute Encephalitis Syndrome is a severe case of encephalitis transmitted by mosquitoes. It is characterised by high fever and inflammation of the brain.

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