New AES virus? doctors baffled

The CSMMU doctors seem to be in a fix with rising number of patients diagnosed with Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) succumbing to the disease.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published:September 6, 2009 2:19 am

The CSMMU doctors seem to be in a fix with rising number of patients diagnosed with Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) succumbing to the disease.

Though the patients reportedly show the symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis (JE),they tested negative for the virus. Now,doctors seem to be baffled with the identity of the new virus.

Interestingly,every year during this period,the Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University Trauma Centre admits two to three patients everyday suffering from AES. This year,these patients are succumbing to the disease due to multiple organ failure within two to three days.

“There are many groups of viruses that can cause encephalitis. It is very difficult to test for all the viruses in an individual patient. More than 50 patients have came in August and about one-third of them have died,” said Dr Rashmi Kumar,Head of Paediatrics Department,CSMMU.

“Though the cases are reported as encephalitis,more than 80 per cent tested negative for JE. Earlier,about 50 to sixty per cent tested positive for JE,” said Dr Amita Jain of Microbiology Department,CSMMU.

The Gorakhpur medicos,however,claim the new virus to be enterovirus — a type of encephalitis virus.

“But we do not have the equipments to further our research in this field. Also,we are presently unaware about the virus and we do not know what to do next. The trend is now emerging and we can think of a proper study,” added Dr Jain.

According to the doctors,in case of JE patients,the brain tends to get affected but here the virus is affecting the other organs,leading to the death of the patient.

“Though we are receiving reports from Gorakhpur everyday about encephalitis,CSMMU has not reported any such case to the government,” said Dr V S Nigam,Joint Director of Vector-Borne Wing of the state Health department.

“A few days ago,members from National Institute of Virology,Pune and even CDC,Atlanta had gone to Gorakhpur to collect samples,but have not yet been able to trace the virus,” said Nigam. The state government is ready to support any research for this virus,he added.

The government is being briefed on each and every development,said Dr Kumar.

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