Scientists Search For Causes Of Acute Encephalopathy Syndrome Among Indian Children; Malnutrition Remains High In India Despite Some Food Security Progress, Report Shows

New York Times: A Mystery Disease Is Killing Children, and Questions Linger About Lychees
“…Scientists call it acute encephalopathy syndrome, or AES, while Indian officials insist on calling it acute encephalitis syndrome. … [D]ecades of searching have failed to find any microbe responsible for what locals often just call the ‘lychee disease.’ Even during seasons when hundreds fall ill, there are not clusters of cases among families or communities — usually just one in a village, which undermines the infectious disease theory. But if lychees are to blame, some ask, why are there no cases in other lychee-growing areas in India, or in other countries, for that matter? And what accounts for the deaths among children too young to eat fruit, or the ones that have occurred outside of lychee season?…” (Nordland, 6/26).

Xinhua News: Malnourished children at risk of encephalitis, says Indian pediatrician
“With more than 150 children dead and many more infected by the outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES), the eastern Indian state of Bihar has hit the headlines over the past few weeks. … Dr. Arun Shah, a Muzaffarpur-based pediatrician who has done research on AES, said this year there has been an epidemic of AES. … According to him, chronic malnutrition is a ‘predisposing factor triggered by consumption of unripe litchi by hungry and starving children.’ Children belonging to well-to-do families who eat litchis are not vulnerable to AES, he added…” (Vaidya/Zhao, 6/26).

Xinhua News: Malnutrition among children high in India despite food security progress: WFP
“Despite progress made in food security, malnutrition amongst children in India remains high, the latest findings of a joint report have found, the World Food Programme (WFP) said Tuesday. Herve Verhoosel, WFP spokesperson in Geneva, said at a U.N. briefing here that the 2019 National Food and Nutrition Security Analysis report was developed in partnership between the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Indian government’s Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation…” (6/26).

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