As many as 872 cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) were reported in Bihar in the year 2019. Of 872 reported cases, 176 died of the disease, said State Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Friday.
He also said that Japanese Encephalitis (JE) this year led to death of one individual in Bihar whereas 16 cases of it were reported from the state.
In a reply to an unstarred question raised by many parliamentarians on the issue of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, the government further said that officials from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) visited Muzaffarpur, Bihar for investigating the outbreak, in June 2019.
Mr Choubey also replied to a question on "whether study carried out by Government on aspects of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis" and said that limited numbers of serum and litchi samples were tested for methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG) toxin. At least half were found MCPG positive.
Around 90 samples were tested for infectious agents at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and non-ICMR Institutes. Few samples were found positive for dengue, chikungunya and Japanese Encephalitis, majority tested negative, indicates predominantly non-infectious etiology."
During the reply it was also stated that Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have taken measures to support the state in the containment of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome cases and had reviewed the situation with health minister of Bihar and also with officials from the ministry. It has also deputed that a central team of experts consisting of public health specialist from various central government institutes to assist the state government in containment and management measures.
The government also informed that Central ministry had deputed five teams of doctors along with technicians from central government hospitals to Shrikrishna Medical College and Hospital to support clinical management.