M’kgiri child deaths due to Encephalopathy- poisoning raw ‘Chakunda’ seeds, says expert


Bhubaneswar: A central team constituted for probing ground zero reality in the Japanese Encephalitis afflicted Malkangiri on Friday claimed in its interim report that children deaths in the district are due due to Encephalopathy besides JE.

The head of the expert team Jacob Jonn said the children deaths are due to consumption of raw seeds of ‘Bana Chakunda’ (Cassia Occidentalis). Anthraquinone the suspected toxin found in the plant is responsible for the deaths.

We found toxin from the urine sample of a few tested children, which indicates the children consumed the seeds. The reports have been confirmed from the tests conducted at Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR), Lucknow.

Notably, Encephalopathy is a brain ailment which also affects other complications in the body like in liver, muscle, heart.

It is noteworthy to mention here that more than a hundred kids have died due to the outbreak of the fatal disease. The state government has said that most of the deaths have resulted due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES).

All this while training for mass vaccination against the disease has begun as inoculation is set to begin in as many as four districts including the most affected Malkangiri towards November last week.

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