One dead, 290 fall ill in AP's Eluru from 'mystery illness'; Jagan Mohan Reddy to visit today

Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu hit out at the ruling YSRCP and demanded an ' impartial, full-fledged inquiry' into the incident.

FP Staff December 07, 2020 00:17:00 IST
One dead, 290 fall ill in AP's Eluru from 'mystery illness'; Jagan Mohan Reddy to visit today

Over 200 people, including several children, have taken ill in Eluru. ANI

One person has died and about 29o people have fallen ill due to a mysterious disease in the Eluru town of Andhra Pradesh's West Godavari district, reported news agency PTI on Sunday.

More than 140 of the patients have returned home after treatment at hospitals while the condition of others was stable, the news agency quoted medical and health officials in West Godavari district as saying.

The cause of the disease that saw people suddenly falling unconscious after suffering from symptoms of fits and nausea has not yet been established. While reports earlier said that officials suspected water contamination, Deputy Chief Minister (Health) AKK Srinivas (Nani), who represents Eluru on Sunday said tests showed that that was not the cause.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has scheduled a visit to Eluru on Monday to visit the patients in the GGH and later hold a review meeting with the West Godavari district officials, reported the news agency

Meanwhile, the Opposition lashed out at the YSRCP government over the outbreak of the disease.

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.

While a majority of the people had recovered within a few minutes, at least seven were shifted to the government hospital on Sunday for better treatment, the report said.

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.

The affected persons also recover all of a sudden but again present with the same symptoms, a report in The Times of India report quoted district medical and health officer K Sunanda as saying. The official, however, said that there is no threat to any of them.

According to news agency PTI, the health minister who visited the hospital again on Sunday and reviewed the situation, also said there was no need to panic. "Most of the victims have recovered and others are stable,” he said.

As per the Indian Express report, Nani said that the results of the blood samples came back negative and the patients also tested negative for COVID-19 . He maintained that there was no contamination of water supplied in the city and said it was a "mystery illness".

“We ruled out water contamination or air pollution as the cause after officials visited the areas where people fell sick. Water samples were sent for testing and no contamination was found. Blood samples of the patients have been sent to labs. No viral infection has been detected. All the patients are COVID-19 negative. It is some mystery illness and only lab analysis will reveal what it is,” the newspaper quotes Srinivas as saying.

Earlier in the day, doctors speaking on condition of anonymity had told The Hindu that​ water, food and blood samples had been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) while CT scan and X-ray reports were found to be normal.

The New Indian Express report earlier quoted the deputy chief minister as saying that health camps were organised in South Street, East Street, Arundhati Pet and other areas in Elur and a door-to-door survey was also being conducted to identify more unreported cases.

Additional beds were also readied at the Ashram Hospital and in the Vijayawada Government Hospital as a precautionary measure the minister, said adding that about 108 emergency medical vehicles were kept on standby.

Meanwhile, BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao, who spoke to state Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney, said a five-member team of doctors from AIIMS at Mangalagiri was visiting Eluru to treat the patients.

Rao said he spoke to AIIMS, Delhi director Randeep Guleria and other experts and said poisonous organic substances could be the most likely cause of the disease . Rao said he also made the experts talk to the West Godavari district medical officials.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) general secretary Nara Lokesh who visited the hospital and spoke to the victims, blamed the Jagan Mohan Reddy government's negligence for the disease outbreak

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu insisted that the disease was caused due to water contamination and demanded an " impartial, full-fledged inquiry" into the incident.

"The Eluru incident is just the tip of an iceberg. The government's negligence and the deterioration of healthcare services across Andhra Pradesh stands exposed today. It's a shame for any government if it can't provide basic necessities like safe and clean drinking water to our people," he said.

Andhra Pradesh governor Biswa Bhushan Harichandran also expressed concern over the situation in Eluru, adding that he has directed officials to expeditiously provide medical treatment to affected persons and to find out the reason behind people falling ill.

Health authorities could not yet establish the cause of the sudden disease, though blood tests and CT scans were performed.

The probable cause could become evident only after the culture test results came in. E-coli results were also awaited, Joint Collector Himanshu Shukla said.

With inputs from PTI

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