Encephalitis deaths: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Bihar minister Mangal Pandey to be investigated for negligence

The investigation was ordered by Muzaffarpur's CJM.

Latest News
Encephalitis deaths: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Bihar minister Mangal Pandey to be investigated for negligence


Muzaffarpur's Chief Judicial Magistrate has ordered an investigation to look into whether Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey are guilty of negligence in the rising number of deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

The investigation into the two ministers - both belonging to the BJP - was ordered by Muzaffarpur's Chief Judicial Magistrate Suryakant Tiwari. The order came in response to a case of negligence registered against them.

So far, 167 children are reported to have lost their lives due to an outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar since June 1. Of these, 129 died in Muzaffarpur district alone. The state health department has said the outbreak has affected about 20 of Bihar's 40 districts. More than 600 children have been diagnosed with AES since June 1.

The investigation against the ministers comes on a morning when the Supreme Court sought a response from the Bihar government over the outbreak and the deaths it has caused. The top court asked the state government to submit its response within seven days.

The affidavit is to give the Supreme Court a status report on the adequacy of medical facilities, nutrition and sanitation and the hygiene conditions in the state. The court was also told during the hearing that similar deaths had occurred in Uttar Pradesh.`

A number of state governments in the region, including those that neighbour Bihar, have taken their own steps to prevent a similar outbreak in their states.

Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is not a disease; it is a condition where the brain and its associated structures get inflamed. It generally peaks around the onset of monsoon, which is the time when maximum mosquito breeding occurs. The genesis of this disorder is usually infection with bacteria, virus (like Dengue virus), fungi (like Yeast) or parasite (like Malaria). The pathogen initially may gain entry into the system via the airborne route, via vectors like mosquitoes or via unclean food or unhygienic surroundings. These organisms then may gain entry into the brain via the contiguous spread, or via the blood where it creates an inflammation causing the patient to manifest the clinical symptoms. Such patients may have a high fever, may have vomiting, generalised malaise, body ache, excessive vomiting, blurring of vision and in severe cases, may land up with severe prostration, low blood pressure, multi-organ dysfunction, and even death.

Find your daily dose of news & explainers in your WhatsApp. Stay updated, Stay informed-  Follow DNA on WhatsApp.

Live tv