Committee report on Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, 25/06/2022

  • 25/06/2022

Report of the Committee formed by the government of Uttar Pradesh in Original Application No. 116 of 2014 in the matter of Meera Shukla Vs MC, Gorakhpur & Others.

In compliance with the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Principal Bench, New Delhi, the government of Uttar Pradesh constituted a high level technical committee headed by  a neurovirologist from NIMHANS, Bengaluru, along with nominees from the Pollution Control Board, Indian Council of Medical Research, Animal Husbandry and Health and Family Welfare Department.

The team undertook a study of the situation along with the remedial measures being recommended. Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh has been reporting outbreaks of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) since 1978. The committee members met on the 18th and 19th of May 2022 at Gorakhpur and visited medical centers to assess the situation. The team found that most of the AES affected districts are located in the eastern part of the state.

A total of 31830 AES cases and 4639 deaths (CFR- 14.6%) were reported in the state of UP between 2010 and 2020. Of these, 3334 were caused by Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) with 476 deaths (CFR 14.3%). In contrast, in the year 2021, the CFR due to JE and AES reduced to 3.27% and 3.41 % respectively against a CFR of 16.6% (JE) and 17% (AES) from 2010 to 2016.

Although a marked reduction in number of both AES and JE cases are noticed in the state, the proportion of Scrub typhus cases out of total AES cases in the state from 2017 through 2021 has increased from 32% to 49% while the proportion of JE cases out of total AES cases have reduced from 18 to 11% in the same period. The number of villages marked as high risk for AES has reduced to 208 (in 2022) from 617 (in 2018).