A woman showing symptoms of epilepsy being taken to a hospital in Eluru town of West Godavari district, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020
A woman showing symptoms of epilepsy being taken to a hospital in Eluru town of West Godavari district, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020
PTI

A mystery disease that hit Andhra Pradesh's Eluru town this weekend has taken at least one life while 290 have fallen sick with symptoms such as nausea, fainting and signs of fits.

Dozens of people, including children, suddenly fell unconscious after suffering from symptoms of fits and nausea on Saturday, but all of them turned normal within a few minutes.

However, the number rose rapidly with hospitals admitting nearly 300 patients. More than 140 of the patients have returned home after treatment at hospital while the condition of others was stable, the West Godavari district medical and health officials said.On

One dead

A 45-year-old man, who was admitted to the GGH in Eluru on Sunday morning with symptoms of nausea and epilepsy, died in the evening.

Superintendent of Eluru Government Hospital, Dr Mohan, said around 140 people were admitted from last night till this morning. "Symptoms include nausea and fainting. The reason is not yet known," Dr Mohan said on Sunday.

Symptoms

People suddenly fell unconscious after suffering from symptoms of fits, nausea and fainting.

Cause of sickness

Nothing has yet been established as to what caused the disease that saw people suddenly falling unconscious after suffering from symptoms of fits and nausea.

Health authorities could not yet establish the cause of the sudden disease though blood tests and CT (brain) scan were performed.

Water samples from the affected areas were sent for testing but no contamination was reported. Blood samples of the patients were also sent but no viral infections were detected.

Meanwhile, all the patients were tested for the COVID-19 and all reports were negative.

Cerebral Spinal Fluid tests also turned out to be normal. The probable cause could become evident only after the culture test results came in. According to district Joint Collector Himanshu Shukla, E-coli results were also awaited.

Himanshu told PTI that expert scientists from the National Institute of Nutrition and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology from Hyderabad would arrive in Eluru on Monday for diagnosing the cause of the disease.

A 24x7 control room has been set up in the Eluru Municipal Corporation office.

Milk samples were also collected at random and sent for examination in Vijayawada.

CM Jaganmohan Reddy to visit Eluru today

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy is scheduled to visit the patients at Eluru Government Hospital on Monday around 10.30 am. He will hold a meeting with the hospital officials, followed by a conference at the Zilla Parishad office.

Deputy Chief Minister (Health) A K K Srinivas (Nani), who represents Eluru, said tests established that water contamination was not the cause of the mysterious disease.

Nani visited the hospital again on Sunday and took stock of the situation and said there was no need to panic.

"Most of the victims have recovered and others are stable. We have readied 50 beds in the GGH in Vijayawada to shift patients, if required.

Our medical teams are attending to every patient," the Deputy Chief Minister said.

Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy spoke with AP Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney over phone and enquired about the situation and said the Centre was ready to extend any possible help.

The Union Home Ministry was also in touch with the Governor's office over this, official sources here said.

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