Harsh Vardhan seeks CDC help to find root cause of AES outbreak

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has sought the help from a US-based research institution to understand the root causes (etiology) of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES), which is still a mystery.

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has sought the help from a US-based research institution to understand the root causes (etiology) of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES), which is still a mystery.
Vardhan, who is on an official tour of the US, yesterday yesterday, held a four-hour long meeting with top experts at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.

During the talks, he highlighted the annual visitation of Japanese encephalitis and acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) which leads to heavy loss of life in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, according to a press release.

"Though I have personally visited the affected areas of the two states recently and overseen an immunisation drive, I feel that CDC`s research assistance could go a long way in understanding the root causes (etiology) of AES which is still a mystery. So I made a request to Dr Tom Frieden, Director in this regard," the release added.

Vardhan also discussed the possibility of CDC giving technical assistance for development of early warning, epidemic preparedness and response, development of field friendly rapid diagnostic kits and bilateral cooperation for development of Dengue vaccine.

The Minister and the CDC specialists exchanged views on programmes for diabetes, hypertension, ending the culture of physical inactivity and on the need for strengthening global health security, the release said.

The Health Minister reiterated his intention of making health for all a social movement in India.

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