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Encephalitis Kills Dozens of Children in East India

Posted by feww on June 17, 2014

EMERGING & RE-EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES
SCENARIO 011
DEADLY ENCEPHALITIS SPREADING IN INDIA
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Encephalitis spreads across east India states of Bihar, West Bengal

At least fifteen children have died in the Indian state of Bihar from suspected encephalitis since Sunday as the disease spreads to new districts, taking the death toll to 92, health officials said.

Thirteen of th victims died from suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) Sunday, and two children died Monday.

Meantime, in the neighboring state of West Bengal, “at least 19 children have died of encephalitis from June 3 to 16. ” said a senor health official.

“The AES is now spreading its tentacles to new areas,” said the health department.

Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES)

Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) is a clinical condition caused by infection with Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) or other infectious and noninfectious causes.

Transmission of Japanese Encephalitis Virus 

Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus, a flavivirus, is closely related to West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis viruses. JE virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Culex species mosquitoes, particularly Culex tritaeniorhynchus.

The virus is maintained in a cycle between mosquitoes and vertebrate hosts, primarily pigs and wading birds. Humans are incidental or dead-end hosts, because they usually do not develop high enough concentrations of JE virus in their bloodstreams to infect feeding mosquitoes.

JE virus transmission occurs primarily in rural agricultural areas, often associated with rice production and flooding irrigation. In some areas of Asia, these conditions can occur near urban centers.

In temperate areas of Asia, JE virus transmission is seasonal. Human disease usually peaks in the summer and fall. In the subtropics and tropics, transmission can occur year-round, often with a peak during the rainy season. —CDC

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