PATNA: In view of the rising encephalitis deaths in Bihar, state Health Minister Prem Kumar on Friday ordered a probe to investigate if consumption of the litchi fruit is leading to the deaths.
The Minister said a team of agriculture scientists and horticulture officials will visit the affected areas.
He said that it was widely believed that litchis could be one of the reasons behind the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreak in Muzaffarpur district where 118 children have died in the last 20 days.
An AES outbreak is normally reported during the litchi harvest season in summer, although till date, it has not been officially verified that the virus is caused by the fruit.
Muzaffarpur is known as the litchi hub of the country.