What is baffling the doctors is the nature of the unknown disease: Only one member of each family had reported the symptoms.
The Andhra authorities are still not clear if this mystery illness is water-borne or has some element of food poisoning. (AP Photo)
As the nation battles with the coronavirus, Andhra Pradesh’s Eluru is waging a war against an unknown enemy. What began as a handful people complaining about nausea in some areas of this town in West Godavari district, soon blew up in a major health crisis amid raging Covid-19 pandemic. Since December 5, more than 550 people have complained about various neurological symptoms such as fainting and seizure to date. A man also lost his life to this mystery illness. Now, a high-profile team of AIIMS doctors have revealed that the blood samples of the patients showed a small amount of heavy metals such as nickel and lead, an Indian Express report said on Wednesday.
What is baffling the doctors is the nature of the unknown disease, which has not been identified so far. The IE report quoted some officials as saying that in most of the cases, only one member of each family had reported the symptoms. Moreover, the water samples from other localities of Eluru didn’t report any issue. The authorities are still not clear if this mystery illness is water-borne or has some element of food poisoning. What the officials have clearly said that this ‘disease’ doesn’t spread from one person to another.
The only relief is that most of the people have been discharged from the hospitals after early first-aid. Doctors and other health experts from AIIMS Delhi, Pune’s National Virology Institute and Delhi-based Centre for Disease Control have reached Eluru and probing the possible causes of the mystery illness. Presence of heavy metal may have led to seizure and loss of conciseness.
Those who have recovered from the disease are still numbed by the shock. May have complained about abdominal pain and gastronomic troubles. Every patient suffered a single bout of this sudden illness. It didn’t lead to any other complication. The coronavirus pandemic is also adding to the woes of the health officials, who are already saddled with Covid protocols.