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Acute Encephalitis Syndrome: Centre to set up a panel of experts to monitor situation in Bihar

On Monday, Dr Harsh Vardhan had issued directions for sending a high-level team to Bihar's Muzaffarpur to set up a state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary research centre in the wake of deaths of 103 children due to suspected encephalitis. 

After Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) claimed over 112 lives in Bihar, the centre has finally decided to intervene by setting up a panel to monitor the situation in Bihar, reports India Today.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that a multi-disciplinary expert panel will be constituted to monitor and formulate measures to be taken up to prevent another AES outbreak. The panel will be constituted with experts from AIIMS, National Centre for Disease Control, World Health Organisation and several other health organisations.

On Monday, Dr Harsh Vardhan had issued directions for sending a high-level team to Bihar’s Muzaffarpur to set up a state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary research centre in the wake of deaths of 103 children due to suspected encephalitis.

The interdisciplinary team consisted of experts from ICMR, Delhi, NIMHANS, Bangalore, National Institute of Malaria Research and National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE) Chennai and AIIMS, Delhi.

The centre had also decided to set up five virological labs in different districts in the state with a consultation with the state government.

The outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the country, especially in Bihar has become a major health emergency in the country as more than 100 children have lost their lives.

The AES is locally called the ‘chamki’ fever. Encephalitis, a rare disease, is an inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the brain. In most cases, a virus causes this inflammation. Most cases happen in children, the elderly, and people with a weakened immune system. It causes flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions and headaches.

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