The initial cases were noted on Saturday evening in the old city of Eluru and since then, patients have experienced symptoms ranging from anxiety and nausea to loss of consciousness, native doctors reported. At least one person has died with the mysterious disease and more than 300 children has infected, with most of them suffering from dizziness, headache and vomiting. However, they have tested negative for COVID-19.
The man who deceased with unknown illness was amongst those who had to be hospitalised for the illness. He was 45 years old and experienced symptoms similar to nausea and epilepsy, Press Trust of India news agency stated.
Indian authorities are investigating if organochlorine is behind the illness
Indian authorities are inspecting if organochlorines that is used for mosquito control or as pesticides instigated the death of one person and hospitalised more than 400 in Andhra Pradesh in the past few days, an Indian health official said on Tuesday (Dec 8).
Federal lawmaker GVL Narasimha Rao, said on social website Twitter that he had coordinated with government medical authorities and that the “most possible cause of the unknown disease is poisonous organochlorine substances”.
Some of the pollutants remain in the environment for years and build up in animal and human body fat. However, Organochlorines are forbidden or regulated in many countries after research revealed the link of Organochlorines to cancer and other possible health risks.
A statement released by Health Department of Andhra Pradesh said that early blood tests did not find any sign of a viral infection, such as chikungunya or dengue, which both are caused by mosquito bites.
“The source is still unknown but still we are doing all kinds of testing, including testing food and milk,” said Dolla Joshi Roy, the district surveillance officer of Eluru’s West Godavari District.
The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy, visited the patients on Monday.
Specialists from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences have also arrived in Eluru to conduct further neurotoxic examinations, and are waiting for the outcomes.