West Godavari (Andhra Pradesh) [India], December 9 (ANI): The number of cases of 'mystery illness', which gripped Eluru in West Godavari district, has decreased to 49 from 77, according to the government hospital official on Wednesday.
"The number of patients on the bed at Eluru where people fell sick, came down to 49. The situation is fully under control," Eluru Government Hospital Superintendent Dr AVR Mohan said.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Health Minister and MLA from Eluru constituency Alla Kalikrishna Srinivas visited the areas in the city. He interacted with people, listened to their grievances and assured to resolve them.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday spoke to the concerned officials on the cases of illness in Eluru and directed them to find out the exact cause for the outbreak.
During a video conference with the authorities, doctors and experts from World Health Organisation (WHO), All India Institute of Medical Sciences, National Institute of Nutrition, Cellular and Molecular Biology and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), the Chief Minister said that corrective measures will be taken based on the final outcome of investigations and urged the experts to find an actual reason behind the illness.
He told the authorities to focus on whether the illness was due to water contamination or due to some other cause and asked to conduct a detailed investigation.
The officials informed that the presence of lead and nickel in the patient bodies might have caused the illness, which could have happened due to excessive use of pesticides, adding that the number of cases have been declining and the patients are getting recovered within three-four hours. "The actual cause of the illness will soon be identified after running a few more tests and thorough analysis."
Meanwhile, experts from the WHO said that they are surveying the areas of the people fallen sick and are taking health details including the food they have taken. On the other hand, experts suspect that bleaching and chlorine used in sanitation programmes as part of Covid-19 prevention measures may also be the cause.
Doctors and experts from AIIMS, Delhi said that comprehensive tests are yet to be done, but the primary investigations revealed that lead and nickel appears to be high in the blood of those who were ill. "As Indians do have nickel in their bodies, the presence of lead might have caused the illness. Also, it was found that there is a significant drop in the level of lead in the bodies of patients after 24 hours of becoming sick. The process of recycling batteries or due to the dumping of broken batteries, or when fired may also lead to the current situation. We also test drinking water and milk samples and come to a definite conclusion on the reasons as soon as possible," they said.
Experts from AIIMS, Mangalagiri said that pesticides might have contaminated the organic chlorides, which is just a primary finding, where accurate conclusions on this are yet to come.
Expert team from NIN, Hyderabad said that they have examined the food, water, milk, urine and blood samples from the families of the sick and also taken samples of vegetables and essentials from the market. "We are conducting comprehensive tests, so far, there are no signs of danger. We shall submit a report on water, food, milk, urine and blood samples."
Similarly, experts from IICT and CCMB are also investigating the cause of illness and are conducting various tests for an accurate diagnosis. (ANI)