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In a tragic incident, 14 children have died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, according to ANI reports, while over a dozen are admitted in hospitals with high fever and other symptoms of the infection.

Medical experts said that the outbreak of the disease has returned after a gap of three years. It strikes only when heat coupled with high level humidity rises to an extreme level. However, it is controlled with the onset of monsoon.

Muzaffarpur’s Civil surgeon SP Singh on Saturday said that the reasons for the death of children are being ascertained and that children are being admitted with symptoms like high fever and hypoglycemia (sudden drop in sugar level). The hypoglycemia may lead to failure of life support functioning in minors and children.

Sunil Shahi, Superintendent of Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), told ANI, “We have received 38 patients so far, most of them have a deficiency of glucose in their blood. Two have also tested JE (Japanese Encephalitis) positive, the overall casualty till now is 14.”

Dr Gopal Sahni, head of Critical Care Unit, said, “When heat and humidity rise, the body’s sweat cannot evaporate. The humidity level is over 50 per cent in the last few days. We have about 15 such children admitted in the hospital currently. Eight-nine such cases come regularly.”

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