POST TIME: 23 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Encephalitis cases on the rise

Encephalitis cases on the rise

The number of encephalitis-affected children has almost doubled from last year's count in different hospitals in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country. According to data provided by Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), more than 1,200 patients affected by encephalitis were admitted in different hospitals across the country till June 20 this year. The number of affected patients was about 650 in 2018.

Experts say though the number of patients has increased this year from the last year, there is no cause for panic. They, however, suggest all to remain alert about the disease. Recently, encephalitis has claimed 142 lives in neighboring India. But the condition of Bangladesh is still under control, say doctors.

Sources say two to three children affected by encephalitis has been admitted to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

IEDCR director Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora told The Independent that the number of affected patients has increased this year.

"However, there is nothing to worry right now," she said.

“We collect data from across the country. Our surveillance team is working at the field level. In case of any trouble, we'll take immediate steps,” she added.

Dr Sayeeda Anwar, head of paediatrics in Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said there was nothing to worry.

Encephalitis is a rare life-threatening disease. Patients should call the doctor immediately if anyone displays symptoms of encephalitis.

It is an inflammation of the brain tissue. The most common cause is viral infection.

There are two main types of encephalitis: primary and secondary. Primary encephalitis occurs when a virus directly infects the brain and spinal cord. Secondary encephalitis occurs when an infection starts elsewhere in the body and then travels to the brain.

Symptoms of encephalitis can range from mild to severe. Mild symptoms include: fever, headache, vomiting, stiff neck and lethargy.

Mosquitoes are carriers of this disease. Besides, the disease can spread if anyone eats fruits which are eaten by bats and birds.

Prof. Khan Abul Kalam Azad, chairmen of the medicine department of DMCH, said the disease-resistance among children was low. In this case, there is no alternative to vigilance. “If we can take enough protection to protest this disease in due time, we’ll able to minimise the number of patients in Bangladesh,” he added.