At least one person has died and 227 have been hospitalised
After Covid-19 spreading like wildfire throughout the world, a mystery illness has made itself known in India’s southern state Andhra Pradesh.
At least one person has died and 227 have been hospitalised by an unidentified illness.
The patients had a wide range of symptoms from nausea to fits and falling unconscious.
Officials are investigating the cause of the illness, which swept through the town of Eluru, the first case making itself known on December 5, 2020.
The mystery illness comes as India continues to battle a pandemic, with the world’s second-highest Covid-19 caseload.
Andhra Pradesh has been one of the worst-affected states with more than 800,000, it has the country’s third-highest case count.
But Covid-19 doesn’t appear to be the cause of the hospitalisations over the weekend.
The state’s health minister, Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas, said that all the patients had tested negative for coronavirus.
Most of the patients were in the 20 to 30 age group, while 45 children were below the age of 12.
A medical officer at Eluru Government Hospital shared:
“The people who fell sick, especially the children, suddenly started vomiting after complaining of burning eyes.
“Some of them fainted or suffered bouts of seizures.”
Seventy people have been discharged, while another 157 are still being treated.
The state’s chief minister, Jaganmohan Reddy, said that special medical teams are being sent to Eluru to investigate the cause of the illness.
The special medical team in charge of researching and curing this mystery illness is headed by Dr Jamshed Nayar, an associate professor (emergency medicine) from AIIMS.
He is accompanied by Dr Avinash Deoshtawar, a virologist from the National Institute of Virology, Pune.
As well as, Dr Sanket Kulkarni, the deputy director and a public health expert from the National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi.
Srinivas said that the patients’ blood samples did not reveal any evidence of a viral infection.
“We ruled out water contamination or air pollution as the cause after officials visited the areas where people fell sick.
“It is some mystery illness and only lab analysis will reveal what it is.”
Doctors have tested and ruled out water contamination as a cause for the spread of the disease, leaving medical teams to focus on chemical agents as the cause.
The disease has shown no signs of being contagious hence, the spread of the disease through the city has stymied professionals.