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Report: Lychee fruit triggered illness in Bihar village for decades

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A fruit vendor offers lychees to customers from his roadside stall in Amritsar, India.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Every year since 1995, a mysterious illness has swept across and plagued the little town of Muzaffarpur in Bihar, India.

Around May and June each year, scores of young children would begin showing signs of a fever. They’d have seizures and convulsions, before ultimately slipping in and out of consciousness.

Then in 2014, hundreds of children were brought to hospitals, exhibiting symptoms of an illness, branded locally as “chamki ki bimari,” or “tinsel disease.” Of the 390 children admitted for treatment, 122 died. Teams of researchers and medical experts worked exhaustively to find the cause, but had no such luck.

Until now.

According to a new report, which was published in The Lancet Global Health medical journal on Tuesday, claims to have discovered what’s been causing the deadly disease: Lychee.

Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and India’s National Centre for Disease Control compared test results of children who had developed the mysterious illness, and children who had not. Analysis of blood and spinal fluid samples showed no signs of infection or exposure to chemicals and insecticides.

However, the majority of children who had fallen ill had eaten lychee fruit recently. Those same children were also six times more likely to visit a fruit orchard within 24 hours of falling ill, the study said.

Muzaffarpur, conveniently, happens to be India’s largest lychee farming region.

According to the report, parents said children that lived in infected villages spent most of their days eating from lychee trees, and would return home “uninterested in eating a meal.” The report said that children that fell ill were twice as likely to have skipped dinner, which, according to the researchers probably resulted in “night-time hypoglycaemia.”

The Indian government issued a statement Wednesday advising children to henceforth “minimize litchi fruit consumption” in affected areas, and eat an evening meal during the “outbreak period.”

But researchers say there are still questions about the mystery that remain unanswered. For example, while orchards surround a multitude of India’s villages, typically only one child from each village develops an illness from eating lychee. Therefore, the report said, the equation could also include a child’s individual genetics.

“The synergistic combination of litchi consumption, a missed evening meal, and other potential factors such as poor nutritional status, eating a greater number of litchis, and as yet unidentified genetic differences might be needed to produce this illness,” the study said.

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Modi to face protests on visit to DC, NY

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Modi to face protests on visit to DC, NY | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India’s Ministry of External Affairs called out Pakistan backed groups threatening to give Prime Minister Narendra Modi “sleepless nights” during his visit to the U.S. next week. The group Sikhs for Justice has planned protests from Washington to New York as the PM visits the U.S. for the first time under the Biden administration.

18 year old Nidhi Rana and 21 year old  Ayush Rana were together when their car began floating toward a spot where the water flows underground toward the river. A massive search was soon launched for the pair and continued for several days.

Vibhav Mittal is now the first Indian American judge on the Superior Court of  Orange County California.  During his ten years as a federal prosecutor, Judge Mittal tried 13 criminal trials to verdict.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Hudson: 55 Kashmiri & Khalistani groups operate in the US

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Hudson: 55 Kashmiri & Khalistani groups operate in the US | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — The Hudson Institute assembled experts to evaluate fifty-five Kashmiri and Khalistani groups operating within the US. The institute is now recommending a deep dive into the possibility that these groups received funding, support and military training from Pakistan along with terrorist groups in India.

Top American lawmakers paid tributes as they remembered Sikh American Balbir Singh Sodhi,  who was the first victim of a hate crime following the 9/11 terror attacks.  He was murdered outside the Arizona gas station he owned, by a man who said he wanted to “go out and shoot some towel-heads. ”

Compass Digital Acquisition filed for a $200 million IPO. The technology-focused SPAC is targeting software and services companies. Compass is led by Chairman and CEO Abid Neemuchwala, former CEO of IT services firm Wipro.

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US to reassess Pakistan relationship

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US to reassess Pakistan relationship | Diya TV News
WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — US secretary of state Antony Blinken says America is reassessing it’s relationship with Pakistan.  Blinken noted that the country had harboured members of the Taliban, Al Qaeda including Osama Bin Laden and terrorists from the Haqqani Network. 

Meanwhile the U.S. House of Representatives Rules Committee will meet to review several amendments supported by the Hindu American Foundation that could punish Pakistan for its alleged ties to terrorism. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom will keep his job after a recall initiative to remove the Democrat from office failed in the nation’s largest state. Newsom was facing a recall drive sparked mainly over accusations that he mishandled his state’s response to Covid-19.

Bangalore, India based media technology company Amagi says it’s raised another $100 million to expand the company. Amagi provides cloud broadcast and targeted advertising software so customers can monetize their content over broadcast TV and streaming TV platforms. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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