Andhra Pradesh’s Eluru continues to be in the national limelight after the breakout of a mysterious, epilepsy-like mystery illness that has led to the hospitalization of 500+ patients. So what are the possible causes? What do the medical experts say? Let’s find out.
Crux of the Matter
People with the mystery illness at Eluru are showing the following symptoms:
Does This Ring A Bell?
Yes. These symptoms are similar to what happens in Epilepsy, which is a group of neurological disorders characterized by recurrent seizures. Patients who are kids have a sudden onset of vomiting after feeling a burning sensation in their eyes.
What Was The ‘Epicentre’?
The disease was found to have started in the One Town area of Eluru (in Andhra Pradesh), before spreading to other parts of the city like the rural area and Denduluru village.
Is It Fatal?
The only confirmed death is of a 45-year-old man. Other than that, 500+ people have been stricken by the disease and over 300 of them are children.
Could It Be A Covid-19 Mutation?
Thankfully, no. Samples from patients and of the local water were collected on the same day and sent to worldwide specialists like AIIMS, WHO, and the ICMR for analysis. However, the tests could not detect any water pollution or known virus infections like Covid-19.
So What Can Be The Cause(s)?
1. Preliminary results pointed to high nickel and lead content in drinking water and milk, which may have acted as agents for lead poisoning.
2. Pesticides may have leached into the water supply after flash floods.
3. Improper disposal of batteries.
4. Excessive bleaching and chlorinating of the water supply to prevent Covid-19 transmission.
Have There Been Any New Cases?
No new cases were recorded as of 12th December. Andhra Pradesh’s health minister, Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas has stated that “the city is heading towards a zero mystery illness situation.”
- An idiopathic disease is any disease with an unknown cause or mechanism of apparent spontaneous origin. For some medical conditions, one or more causes are somewhat understood, but in a certain percentage of people with the condition, the cause may not be readily apparent or characterized. In these cases, the origin of the condition is said to be idiopathic.
- Eluru is a city and the district headquarters of West Godavari district in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The city is on the Tammileru river and is well known for its wool-pile carpets and hand woven products.
- A diagnosis of exclusion is a diagnosis of a medical condition reached by a process of elimination, which may be necessary if presence cannot be established with complete confidence from history, examination, or testing.