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Issue 79
, 2017
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The mystery of the killer Litchi

Source: Economic Times, Date: , 2017

Source: Economic Times, India, July 31, 2017:- Has the litchi been exonerated? Eating litchis on an empty stomach did not trigger encephalitis-like symptoms in hundreds of malnourished children in Muzaffarpur, Bihar in 2014, resulting in deaths. So, a January paper in Lancet Global Health (‘Association of Acute Toxic Encephalopathy with Litchi Consumption in an Outbreak in Muzaffarpur, India, 2014: A Case-Control Study’( that pointed to a naturally occurring toxin in the fruit as the prima facie cause for death has been proved wrong. New research from Bangladesh, published in the July 2017 edition of The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (‘Outbreak of Sudden Death with Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) Among Children Associated with Exposure to Lychee Orchards in Northern Bangladesh, 2012’,, has proved that it is not the fruit but a banned pesticide that is the actual culprit. It may appear as though the last word on the issue has been spoken. But that is not the case.

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