Lab samples have revealed the presence of lead and nickel in drinking water and milk as the root cause of the mysterious illness that has swept Eluru in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district. The disease has claimed one life so far with more than 500 locals being referred to the hospital for treatment over the last 48 hours.
Out of the 505 residents of Eluru affected by the disease, over 370 have recovered and another 120 are still being treated at the Eluru Government General Hospital. At the same time, 19 patients have been referred to government hospitals in Vijayawada and Guntur for better treatment.
The matter first came to light on Sunday when residents of Eluru city in Andhra’s West Godavari district complained of memory loss, anxiety, vomiting, headache, back pain, and a bout of epilepsy for 3-5 minutes.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday held a review meeting to discuss the tests conducted on samples collected from affected areas of Eluru city. These tests were carried out by a team of medical experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
The CM has directed officials to submit a detailed report on the nature of the mysterious disease, the tests conducted on samples collected from Eluru and the treatment being given to patients.
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— CMO Andhra Pradesh (@AndhraPradeshCM) December 8, 2020
Other details about the samples are also expected to emerge in the coming hours as the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) is also conducting tests on samples collected from Eluru.
Meanwhile, two delegates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) also arrived in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday to inquire about the cause of the mysterious disease that swept Eluru. A three-member team from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) also reached Eluru at the direction of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
Andhra Pradesh Deputy CM (Health) AKK Srinivas said that a special sanitation drive is being conducted in Eluru and neighbouring Denduluru from where a majority of the cases have been reported. Officials also inspected overhead drinking water reservoirs in affected areas.