Amid the outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar which claimed 109 lives so far, Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das has directed officials to ascertain toxic content in litchi fruit being sold in the state.
The directive has come in the wake of reports that encephalitis is spreading in litchi growing areas of Bihar, including Muzaffarpur district and other parts of the country and that consumption of the fruit was among the factors for the spread of the disease.
The Department of Health and Family Welfare asked the Food Commissioner to collect and test the sample of Litchi being sold in the market.
Earlier, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey had said a team that was formed to ascertain the cause of Encephalitis concluded that sleeping on an empty stomach at night, dehydration due to humidity and eating litchi on an empty stomach were some of the causes of the disease.
Encephalitis is a viral disease, which causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions, and headache.
The Correspondent Bureau with inputs from agencies