Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is a group of clinical neurologic manifestations caused by a wide range of viruses, bacteria, fungus, parasites, spirochetes, chemicals and toxins. India witnessed 10,834 cases of AES in 2014, with Uttar Pradesh recording the highest with 3,329 cases, followed by Assam with 2,194, revealed a new report released by the health ministry.
The report also suggests that in 2014 India witnessed 1,716 deaths due to the disease. The report said, "The top two states that witnessed the highest number of deaths caused by AES are Uttar Pradesh with 627 deaths and Assam with 360 deaths. West Bengal had the third highest number of cases at 2,381. However, Bihar had the third highest number of deaths at 355, while the number of cases was 1,385."
The ministry report said, "Assam had the highest Japanese Encephalitis (JE) cases at 761, and 165 deaths in 2014." JE is a flavivirus related to the dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses. It is spread by mosquitoes and is the main cause of viral encephalitis in many Asian countries with nearly 68,000 clinical cases occurring every year.
Assam was followed by West Bengal with 410 JE cases and 77 deaths, while Uttar Pradesh witnessed 191 cases and 34 deaths. The total number of JE cases in the country in 2014 stood at 1,652, while there were 292 deaths.
There was no JE or AES case in Nagaland, Maharashtra, Manipur and Punjab.