Number of people with 'mystery illness' in AP's Eluru rises to 347; Centre rushes three-member team

A total of 347 people have been affected and have complained of symptoms like dizziness, fainting spells, headache and vomiting. Of those affected, close to 200 patients have been discharged

FP Staff December 07, 2020 21:43:58 IST
Number of people with 'mystery illness' in AP's Eluru rises to 347; Centre rushes three-member team

Patients and their bystanders are seen at the district government hospital in Eluru on Sunday. AP

Taking cognisance of a "mysterious disease" that has broken out in Andhra Pradesh's Eluru and affected nearly 350, the Centre on Monday said it will rush a three-member team of medical experts to the city on Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday, Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy visited those that had taken ill.

A total of 347 people have been affected and have complained of symptoms such as dizziness, fainting spells, headache and vomiting. Of those affected, close to 200 patients have been discharged from hospital after treatment, PTI reported.

Most of the patients were in the 20 to 30 age group, while 45 children were below the age of 12, the report added.

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, who hails from Andhra Pradesh's Nellore district, on Monday spoke with Union health minister Harsh Vardhan.

As per a statement from the Vice-President's Secretariat, the Union health ninistry has informed it that Dr Jamshed Nayar, an associate professor (emergency medicine) from AIIMS, Dr Avinash Deoshtawar, a virologist from the National Institute of Virology, Pune, and Dr Sanket Kulkarni, the deputy director and a public health expert from the National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi, are being sent to Eluru.

The vice-president was also informed that a poison control team from AIIMS had on Sunday discussed the matter with the doctors at Eluru. Naidu spoke with the directors of AIIMS at Delhi and Mangalagiri.

He was informed that blood samples of the children have been sent to Delhi, the VP's secretariat said. Later, Naidu spoke with Vardhan and urged him to extend all necessary help in diagnosing and providing treatment to the afflicted.

The minister assured him that all steps would be taken to find out the cause of the illness once the lab reports are received, the statement concluded

Andhra Pradesh CM visits Eluru hospital

The chief minister and a team of the AIIMS Mangalagiri visited the Government General Hospital in Eluru. The medical team collected blood samples from the patients for a thorough examination.

PTI reported that experts are suspecting that anti-mosquito fogging may have caused the illness, but nothing has been confirmed officially. It may be recalled that the mysterious disease saw people suddenly falling unconscious after suffering from symptoms of fits and nausea.

The outbreak started in the One-Town area of Eluru and claimed one life on Sunday.

Health authorities could not establish the cause of the disease though blood tests, so CT (brain) scans were performed, the report added. However, the Cerebral Spinal Fluid tests also turned out to be normal.

The probable cause could become evident only after the culture test results were examined by doctors, the report said. E-coli results were also awaited.

Though initially it was suspected that water contamination could have been the cause of the disease outbreak, sample tests ruled that out.

BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao said, after talking to experts at the AIIMS, New Delhi, that poisonous organochlorine substances could be the mostly likely cause of the disease.

One person succumbed to the undiagnosed diseases on Sunday. A 45-year-old man who was admitted to the government general hospital in Vijayawada on Sunday morning with symptoms of nausea and epilepsy died in the evening, reported PTI.

According to Indian Express, the affected people belong to areas such as Ashok Nagar and Arundhatipet in Eluru town, where a case of contamination of drinking water was reported 10 days ago.

A report in The New Indian Express quoted Eluru Government Hospital superintendent Mohan Rao as saying that the affected persons were admitted after suffering from convulsions and mild headaches and some also fainted after vomiting.

"Some of them had bone dislocations and muscular pains,” he said and added that epidemiology and microbiology experts from Vijayawada were coming to Eluru to determine the cause of the illness.

With inputs from PTI

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