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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-18

Decoding mystery disease “litchi as idiopathic triggering cause of hypoglycemia-induced (LITCHI) encephalitic syndrome” – Are the evidence of association adequate?

1 Department of Community and Family Medicine, AIIMS, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
2 Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Vineet Kumar Pathak
Department of Community and Family Medicine, AIIMS, Raipur, Chhattisgarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJCFM.IJCFM_19_19

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There has been an increase in reports of outbreak of encephalopathy in children presenting with a syndrome of sudden onset of high fever and altered sensorium in and around the peak of Indian summer months in geographical regions that flourish in Litchi plantation. In the light of the increased mortality and morbidity due to the mystery disease and the speculations surrounding litchi consumptions, a study was conducted in the litchi production hub of Muzaffarpur district Bihar in India by the NCDC in technical collaboration with US CDC. The variables that were significantly associated were litchi consumption (OR: 9.6 [3.8-24.1]), visiting a fruit orchard (OR: 6 [2.7-13.4]), and absence of an evening meal (OR: 2.2 [1.2-4.3]) in the 24-h preceding illness onset. The recommendations that have been advocated are to avoid eating unripe litchi or its seed and always preferring fresh and ripe ones, children should not to go to sleep without a proper dinner meal during the litchi season and cases of altered sensorium should be always be checked for blood glucose levels and prompt correction should be done if levels suggest hypoglycemia in hospitals.

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