Dangerous Fruit: Mystery of Deadly Outbreaks in India Is Solved

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Instead of occurring in clusters, the illness typically struck only one child in a village, often leaving even siblings unaffected.

A joint investigation by India’s National Center for Disease Control and the India office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, published in the British medical journal The Lancet Global Health on Tuesday, has identified a surprising culprit: the lychee fruit itself, when eaten on an empty stomach by malnourished children.

In 2015, as a result of the investigation, health officials began urging parents in the area to be sure to feed young children an evening meal and to limit their consumption of lychees (sometimes spelled litchi).

In two seasons, the number of reported cases per year dropped to less than 50 from hundreds.

“It was an unexplained illness for so many…

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