Bihar: Death toll rises to 112; litchi fruit under scanner over spread of Encephalitis Syndrome
Patna, June 19: The death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), in Muzaffarpur, rose to 112, nearly a fortnight after its deadly outbreak in the state.
93 died at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) & 19 died at Kejriwal Hospital.
The worst-hit district is Muzaffarpur with the viral disease claiming the lives of 112 children, followed by Vaishali where 12 children have lost the battle with AES. Another six children have lost their lives in Begusarai district, five in Samastipur, and two each in Motihari and Patna.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government has also ordered the laboratory test of litchi fruit being sold in the markets in the state following reports that litchi consumption was one of the factors behind the spread of AES.
The fruit is said to contain a toxin which can cause a drop in blood sugar levels if consumed by a malnourished child.
Encephalitis, called 'Chamki' fever in Hindi, is a viral disease, which causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions and headaches. In India, AES outbreak is typically linked to consumption of unripe litchi fruit by children on empty stomachs.