The authorities rule out a case of mass hysteria, although it may be intoxication.
Some 300 people have had to be admitted in the last few hours to a southern Indian city for an unknown illness with symptoms including “a three to five minute seizure, memory loss, anxiety, vomiting, headache and pain. of back “, according to a report published this Monday.
Cases started arriving at Eluru hospitals this weekend.
The news of an “unknown disease” has been around the world in a few hours due to widespread concern about the coronavirus pandemic.
The patients were tested for various known diseases but none was conclusive.
The government has sent a medical team made up of experts from the National Institute of Virology, the National Center for Disease Control and the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences to investigate the syndrome.
More than 500 people were admitted to hospitals over the weekend, about 150 more on Monday and dozens on Tuesday, according to authorities. While most were able to return home, a 45-year-old man died on Sunday.
Those responsible for health assure that the number of patients is decreasing little by little.
The team of experts analyzed commonly consumed foods such as rice and cooking oil, as well as blood and urine samples, without obtaining any results.
“Some people think it is mass hysteria, but it is not,” said AS Ram, chief medical officer at the Eluru government hospital, assuring that most of those hospitalized had shown real symptoms.
“Most patients come in with minor head injuries or a black eye after a sudden blackout. But within an hour or two, most improve,” he said, “however, we cannot diagnose what is causing these symptoms.” .
The Minister of State, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, visited a government hospital and met with sick patients.
According to local authorities, the disease, currently unknown, is not transmitted from person to person.
The local press reports that blood tests from the Ministry of Health sent to the Ministry of State have found high levels of nickel and lead in the blood of patients that could have been transmitted “through water or milk.”
Lead is neurotoxic.
In declaraciones a The New Indian Express a local health official said that it is too early to draw conclusions but water and milk samples have been sent to the Ministry of Health, as well as blood samples from patients who had high levels of lead and nickel.
Opposition leader N. Chandrababu Naidu tweeted calling for a “full and impartial investigation into the incident.” He believes that it is a case of water contamination that the authorities are trying to drown.
However, water analyzes to date have not yielded significant results.
Police officer Kiran Kumar, who passed out on Monday while on duty, said he “feared” he had been half unconscious for more than two hours.
“My colleagues told me that I yelled something before I passed out. I hurt my right shoulder when I fell on the road,” he said.
India, which is facing the Covid-19 pandemic, ranks second in the world in terms of the number of contaminations, with almost 10 million cases.
The state of Andhra Pradesh is one of the most affected by the new coronavirus responsible for Covid-19, with more than 800,000 cases detected. Like the rest of India, the state’s health care system has been overwhelmed by the virus.