Amaravati/West Godavari (Andhra Pradesh) [India], December 8 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday directed officials to be vigilant and conduct all the possible tests after a massive number of people fell sick due to unknown disease, one died and 77 patients are still receiving treatment in the hospital in Eluru.
According to Chief Minister's Office (CMO) release, the officials informed Reddy that lead and nickel particulate matter was found in the blood samples of the patients in an investigation conducted by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) team. Similarly, the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) is also running tests and the results are awaited.
Chief Minister instructed the officials to submit a detailed report on the illness, tests conducted and the treatment being offered along with the reports of tests conducted on the milk and water. He told the authorities to inquire on how lead and nickel particles could have got into the bodies of the people of that region and asked to conduct a detailed study and submit a report and organise a video conference.
Meanwhile, the number of patients in the hospital with unidentified sickness in Eluru town of Andhra Pradesh's West Godavari district came down to 77 by Tuesday evening. Eluru Government Hospital Superintendent Dr. AVR Mohan said that at least 20 more persons may be discharged by tomorrow morning.
Andhra Pradesh Health Minister Alla Kalikrishna Srinivas has visited the hospital, met patients undergoing treatment and reviewed the present situation with the hospital authorities this evening.
"The number of cases that are reported are gradually coming down. In the morning it was 123 now it is 77. The remaining cases on the bed at this point of time are 77 and we feel another 20 cases may be discharged by morning. So gradually the panic in the public is coming down. The incidents of cases are also coming down. And the severity of symptoms are also coming down," Dr. Mohan told media.
"Several steps are taken by the state govt as well as the medical and health department. We invited experts from many institutes in the state, and also from IMA. We have been visited by many national teams. NIN is already working up, the WHO team is also working up. Today we are receiving NCDC team Delhi and Pune. All these teams will work from the hospital as well as the community. They will completely analyse all missing links and finally will conclude the cause of the disease and source of the disease. Once both these things are known, controlling the disease is easy. As of now, the epidemic size is gradually coming down," he added.
The medical superintendent said that a positive report of the presence of heavy metals in the patient's blood sample was received from AIIMS New Delhi.
"But the sample size was small. We have sent another 40 new samples. We also collected water and milk samples from the same households. We sent them for re-analysis to AIIMS New Delhi. After this analysis, we can confirm the cause and source of disease," he added.
AIIMS Mangalagiri team is working at the Eluru Hospital to treat the patients.
Team member Dr Vamsidhar, assistant professor at AIIMS said, "We came here a couple of days ago. We have examined a few patients. We found that almost all patients have complaints of headache and general weakness. Few patients also had vomiting. Then we collected a few blood samples and sent to AIIMS New Delhi. Test results of those samples have shown significant amounts of certain heavy metals."
"After consulting the district authorities today we have collected another 40 samples today and sent to AIIMS New Delhi again to reconfirm the heavy metals. The heavy metals found are Lead and Nickel. Apart from this, we are looking into the aspect of pesticides also. That might take a little bit more time. We may get the exact idea by tomorrow evening," Dr Vamsidhar added. (ANI)