PATNA: At least 31 children have died in northern India in the last 10 days from a deadly brain disease believed linked to a toxic substance found in lychee fruit, health officials said Wednesday.
The deaths were reported from two hospitals in Bihar state’s Muzaffarpur district, famed for it lush lychee orchards, officials said.The children all showed symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), senior health official Ashok Kumar Singh told AFP, adding most had suffered a sudden loss of glucose in their blood.
“The health department has already issued an advisory for people to take care of their children during the hot summer when day temperature is above 40 degreed Celsius (104 Fahrenheit),” Singh said.
At least 40 other children complaining of similar symptoms were being treated at intensive care units.
“We are trying our best to save them,” said S.P. Singh, the chief medical officer of Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital.