New Delhi (AP) – Health officials and experts in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh are still haunted by a mysterious illness that has hospitalized more than 500 people and killed one.
The disease was first found on Saturday evening in Eluru, an ancient city famous for its hand-woven products. People started the attack without any warning, said Public Health Director Geeta Prasadini.
Since then, symptoms of loss of consciousness ranging from hospitalizations and anxiety have been reported in 546 patients admitted to hospitals. Government spokesperson Dasari Nagarjuna said many people have recovered and returned home, while 188 people are undergoing treatment.
Teams of experts have arrived in the city from India’s top scientific institutes. Various theories have been suggested and are being tested. The most recent hypothesis is food contamination by pesticides.
“But no one knows,” Prasadini admitted.
The embarrassing experts are that there is no common link among the hundreds of people who have fallen ill. All patients tested negative for Covid-19 and viral diseases such as dengue, chickenpox or herpes. They are not related to each other. They do not all live in the same area. They are from different age groups, including about 70 children, but very few are older.
Contaminated water was initially suspected. But the chief minister’s office has confirmed that people who do not use the municipal water supply have also fallen ill, and no harmful chemicals have been revealed in the initial tests of the water samples.
A 45-year-old man named Sridhar was admitted to the hospital with symptoms similar to epilepsy and died on Sunday evening, doctors said. Prasadini said his autopsy did not shed any light on the cause of death.
The hypothesis that is currently being tested is that people ate colored vegetables with pesticides made from organic compounds containing phosphorus. Prasadini said this is an “assumption” based on the fact that such pesticides are commonly used in a field and not on any evidence.
She said experts were investigating whether pesticides had contaminated fish ponds or discharged them into vegetables.
Leader of the Opposition n. Chandrababu Naidu took to Twitter to “demand an impartial, thorough investigation into the incident.”
The state of Andhra Pradesh is among the worst affected by CIVID-19, with more than 800,000 cases found. The state’s health system, like the rest of India, has been hit by the virus.
The report was contributed by Chonchui Nagashangwa, author of Associate Press.
The Associated Press The Department of Health and Science is supported by the Department of Science Education at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is fully responsible for all content.
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