Mystery Illness in Andhra Pradesh Caused by Heavy Metal Content in Drinking Water

by Iswarya on Dec 9 2020 2:46 PM

Mystery Illness in Andhra Pradesh Caused by Heavy Metal Content in Drinking Water
Health officials are still puzzled by a mysterious illness that has left over 500 people hospitalized and one dead in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
The illness was first detected Saturday evening in Eluru, an ancient city famous for its hand-woven products. People started convulsing without any warning, said Geeta Prasadini, the director of public health.

Based on the expert teams' preliminary findings from AIIMS and other state and Central institutions, health officials presented a report to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The disease saw people suddenly falling unconscious after suffering from fits and nausea since Saturday night.

According to GGH doctors, the symptoms included a bout of epilepsy for 3-5 minutes, memory loss for a few minutes, vomiting, anxiety, headache, and back pain.

Nickel and Lead content in drinking water and milk were primarily established as the root cause of the mysterious disease.

Doctors said, "More tests are being conducted by the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology and other institutes, and the results are expected soon."

The Chief Minister of AP directed the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the heavy metal content in the patients' bodies and continuously monitor the treatment process," the CMO release added.

According to the health authorities, of the 505 persons infected, over 370 had recovered, and another 120 were being treated in the hospital.

Another 19 people were sent for better care to government hospitals in Vijayawada and Guntur.

Apart from experts deployed by the World Health Organisation, a three-member team drafted by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare visited in Eluru on Tuesday and went round the affected areas to collect samples.

A special sanitation drive was undertaken in Eluru city and in the adjoining rural pockets and Denduluru from where the cases were reported.