PV International Desk : More than 100 children in the Indian state of Bihar — home to some of the country’s worst health indicators — have now been killed by a brain virus potentially linked to lychees, officials said.

The northern state, one of India’s poorest and home to almost 100 million people, is also in the throes of a major heat wave that is the country’s second-longest on record and has so far claimed 78 lives.

Bihar has been struggling with an outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) since the start of June.

Eighty-five children have now died in the state’s biggest government-run hospital — the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), in the city of Muzaffarpur — and 18 others at a private facility, according to municipal officials cited by the Press Trust of India.

Most of the victims had suffered a sudden loss of glucose in their blood, health official Ashok Kumar Singh told AFP.