There have been annual reports in the local government of Muzzafarpur, India of poor children losing their lives for previously unidentified reasons.
Hundreds of children were admitted in hospitals during the months between May to June. The patients would wake up in the middle of the night screaming, suffering from seizures and brain swelling. Reportedly, half of these unfortunate patients didn’t make it.
Studies by Indian doctors and scientists have discovered that the culprit for these strange fatalities was the lychee fruit. The Muzzafarpur region is known for producing a sizable amount of India’s lychee. According to iflscience.com, researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control alongside the National Centre for Disease Control, India noticed that the condition coincided every year with the lychee harvesting season.
The children most affected by this condition were from a poor background, who ate too much of the fruit on an empty stomach. Lychee produces a certain toxin called hypoglycin which in turn leads to hypoglycemia – a condition where blood sugar drops to dangerously low levels and prevents the body from making glucose. The victims lose their appetite and suffer from seizures later on.
Naturally children who can’t afford a decent meal often eat larger portions of the fruit to relieve their hunger. This exposed them high concentrated doses of the toxin.
In response to these unfortunate findings, Indian health officials have made sure to remind parents to provide better meals to the poverty-stricken children. The authorities have also issued a restriction to the amount lychees these kids can eat.
The number of reported fatalities have since dramatically dropped from hundreds of cases per year to around 50.
Source: Cracker Daily
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