A team of researchers from US’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Disease Control from India has managed to track down the origin of a mysterious malady, which has been plaguing a region of Indian for some time now.
Muzaffarpur is a region in India broadly associated with the cultivation and harvesting of lychee fruits. However, ever since 1995, Muzaffarpur has also become the home of a deadly affliction, which somehow targeted only children. Attempts at identifying the source of the disease were unsuccessful until now.
The mysterious illness bears the name of tinsel disease, and according to the team’s reports, between May and July 2014, approximately 400 experienced symptoms associated with tinsel disease, and, according to the team approximately 122 of them died due to complications.
Previous attempts at investigating the source of this mysterious afflictions led researchers to believe that eating the freshly harvested fruits on an empty stomach might cause the life-threatening complications.
According to the team of scientists from the CDC and India’s Center for Disease Control, patients with tinsel disease initially experience a mild fever. As the infection spreads throughout the body, the patient might experience convulsions and seizures.
As the team investigated the mysterious tinsel disease, they’ve discovered that the initial assessment (lychee fruits consumed on an empty stomach) is partially correct. After taking a look at the latest cases of tinsel disease, the scientists determined that all children consumed freshly-harvested lychee fruits within the last 24 hours.
Furthermore, the doctors also discovered that freshly-harvested lychee fruits consumed on an empty stomach might be the cause of a condition called night-time hypoglycemia. As the scientists explain, given the fact that the children already skipped dinner in order to eat lychees, their blood sugar levels are low.
Subsequently, the toxins found in the lychee fruits further inhibit the body’s capacity to produce glucose. As a result, the patients’ brain becomes inflamed, which might result in experiencing convulsions and seizures during the night.
Furthermore, the specialists also determined that unripe lychee fruits have a higher concentration of toxins which are responsible for night-time hypoglycemia. With the source of the mysterious tinsel disease identified, the India’s health authorities have started to tell the parents from the Muzaffarpur region to not let their children skip dinner and to limit their access to lychee fruits, especially those who are unripe.
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