A six years prospective epidemiological study of acute encephalitis syndrome among children admitted in a rural tertiary care center


  • Debadyuti Datta Department of Pediatrics, North Bengal Medical College & Hospital, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
  • Balai Ch. Karmakar Department of Pediatrics, North Bengal Medical College & Hospital, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India




Acute encephalitis syndrome, Epidemiological study, Japanese B encephalitis


Background: Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is a major public health issue in India. The common etiologies of AES in India are various infectious agents. There are seasonal and regional variations in etiologies making diagnosis and effective intervention often difficult. Our study represents the epidemiological data that will help in planning management in larger perspective.

Methods: This is a six years prospective observational study conducted in the Department of Pediatrics, North Bengal Medical College Hospital, Darjeeling from January 1st, 2013 to December 31st, 2018. In this study all clinically diagnosed AES cases were included fulfilling inclusion and exclusion criterion.

Results: 585 out of 39420 patients (1.48%) were diagnosed clinically as AES over six years. Male patients (372) contributing to 63.6% and female patients (213) 36.4% of the study. Majority cases (271) were seen in the age group of 1-5 years amounting to 46.3% with mean age 5.1±3.6 years. In July 2014 number of cases were maximum 59 (10%) followed by May 2013 20 (3.4%). Among the 585 AES cases, 263 (45%) were suspected for viral etiology (JE= 84, 14.3%). Total 457 cases (78.1%) were alive with insignificant to age and gender variance. Vaccination status revealed 11 among 15 JE deaths were unimmunized which is statistically significant (p < 0.05) by Chi-square test.

Conclusions: The magnitude and etiologies of AES need to be explored and understood in various geographic regions and in different seasons to have a better insight for development of future policies to reduce the burden.


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