High quality research to ascertain cause of AES: Centre

In its response to the petition by advocate Manohar Pratap, the Bihar government said it has been taken positive steps to bring down the fatality rate of children due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) to 19%, despite availability of merely 43% of doctors and 29% of nurses against the total sanctioned strength. DH photo

The Union government has told the Supreme Court that it has decided to constitute an "inter-disciplinary, high quality" research team to ascertain the precise cause for the outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, that claimed lives of over 150 children last month.

In an affidavit, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that though health is a state subject, the central government has taken substantive measures to support and guide the Bihar government for containment and management of the AES outbreak.

It pointed out that after the effort of the government, the number of cases, deaths and mortality rate has come down from June 20 onwards.

The Ministry also said it has been reviewing the situation. It also vehemently denied claims made in a PIL before the court about death of thousands of children due to the disease, which resulted in onset of seizures, convulsion, delirium, loss of consciousness with or without fever.

In its response to the petition by advocate Manohar Pratap, the Bihar government said it has been taken positive steps to bring down the fatality rate of children due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) to 19%, despite availability of merely 43% of doctors and 29% of nurses against the total sanctioned strength.

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