Dangers in the Orchard

An acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) outbreak in northern Bangladesh in 2012 killed 13 of the 14 children who fell ill, and scientists believe it may have to do with lychee orchard pesticides.

AES, whose symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsion and excessive sweating, was found to coincide with harvesting season. In studying community behaviors and practices, scientists found that visiting an orchard that had used pesticides 3 days prior to symptom onset was associated with the illness.

Eating lychees was not, however, and lack of acute specimens limited the study. Overall, scientists believe this demonstrates the need for rigorous evaluation of community pesticide use.

The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

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