GAYA: Notwithstanding the presumption that heat wave conditions and high temperatures slow down the spread of encephalitis, the district administration will not lower its guard on the AES front, district magistrate Abhishek Singh said.
For the last few days, the city is in the grip of heat wave conditions and the difference between maximum and minimum temperature is as high as 17-18 degree Celsius. Encephalitis, according to Gaya-based child specialist Dr Vijai Jain, is essentially a kind of brain infection. High temperature may cause convulsions among children of 06-60 months age group and repeated bouts of convulsions in many cases lead to encephalitis. “Children need more precaution during heat wave conditions and the younger ones are more prone to heatwave-related medical issues,” said Dr Jain.
Besides Muzaffarpur, Gaya is regarded as an AES/JE hotspot and several bouts of epidemic spread of the disease have been recorded in the district in the last several years. Pig rearing is common in rural areas of the district and pigs are regarded as carriers of the encephalitis virus.
Earlier, civil surgeon Dr BK Singh said that mass immunisation has been undertaken in the district to prevent the likely outbreak of AES/JE. Awareness programmes have also been launched. According to Dr Shakeb Zaman, a practising paediatrician, “Most of the AES-related deaths are caused by delayed hospitalisation. Timely hospitalisation saves many lives. Awareness camps should concentrate more on the need to shun quacks and faith healers.”
A 60-bed special AES ward has been established in Anugrah Narain Magadh Medical College Hospitals (ANMMCH) with about one third beds in the ICU category. A separate entrance and exit point has been ear marked for AES patients and attendants as right now, ANMMCH is functioning as a dedicated Covid hospital for patients from seven south Bihar districts including Rohtas and Kaimur.