New Delhi: Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey answered a question in Lok Sabha today, on whether any study has been carried out by the Government on various aspects of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome/Japanese Encephalitis, including the reasons for their manifestation.

Minister of State (Health), Ashwini Choubey, said that a limited number of serum and litchi samples were tested for Methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG) toxin and at least half were found MCPG positive.

“Around 90 samples were tested for infectious agents at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and non-ICMR Institutes,” said Choubey.

“Few samples were found positive for dengue, chikungunya and Japanese Encephalitis, majority tested negative, indicates predominantly non-infectious etiology,” he added.

According to the Bihar State Health Department, more than 700 children have been affected by AES this time in 20 of the 38 districts.

The Centre had filed a reply against a plea Supreme Court stating that it will set up a 100-bedded paediatric ICU at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in a year.

Earlier, an affidavit was submitted by the Nitish Kumar-led government in the apex court which disclosed the poor condition of healthcare facilities in the state, wherein 157 children had lost their lives due to AES at the time of submission.