Daily Current Affairs – 2020Topic: For Prelims and Mains
First AES case of the year suspected in Muzaffarpur.
AES cases were reported from five north Bihar districts in 2019. More than 150 children died. More than 600 children suffering from AES were admitted in the hospitals, including SKMCH and nearly 450 recovered.
Acute encephalitis syndrome is a basket term used for referring to hospitals, children with clinical neurological manifestation that includes mental confusion, disorientation, convulsion, delirium, or coma.
It is characterized as acute-onset of fever and a change in mental status (mental confusion, disorientation, delirium, or coma) and/or new-onset of seizures in a person of any age at any time of the year.
Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is considered a very complex disease as it can be caused by various agents including bacteria, fungi, virus and many other agents.
In India, AES outbreaks in north and eastern India have been linked to children eating unripe litchi fruit on empty stomachs.
Unripe fruit contain the toxins hypoglycin A and methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG), which cause vomiting if ingested in large quantities.
Hypoglycin A is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the unripened litchi that causes severe vomiting (Jamaican vomiting sickness), while MCPG is a poisonous compound found in litchi seeds.
Blood glucose falls sharply causing severe brain malfunction (encephalopathy), leading to seizures and coma, and death in many cases.
Zolgensma gene therapy is a one-time injection that replaces the defective gene with normal gene and rectifies the disorder. In 2019, US FDA approved this therapy for children aged less than two years.