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Mysterious illness continues to baffle experts in India

A mysterious illness has now sickened more than 500 people. Experts remain unsure what’s going on

A young patient is brought in a wheelchair to the district government hospital in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh state, India, Sunday, Dec.6, 2020.
A young patient is brought in a wheelchair to the district government hospital in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh state, India, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020.
Associated Press

Health officials and experts remain puzzled by a mysterious illness that has left more than 500 people hospitalized and one person dead, according The Associated Press.

What’s going on?

Patients in Eluru — a city in Andhra Pradesh, India — first reported symptoms of a new unidentified illness, which led to seizures, loss of consciousness and some nausea, according to CNN.

  • One patient suffered cardiac arrest after being afflicted by the illness, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.

Water contamination?

The Telugu Desam Party said water contamination was the cause of the illness since it’s a common issue in the area.

  • However, the chief minister’s office said “people who don’t use the municipal water supply have also fallen ill, and that initial tests of water samples didn’t reveal any harmful chemicals,” according to The Associated Press.
  • Pesticides is the new leading theory.

Questions remain ...

Experts remain baffled that there is no common link between all the cases that have made people sick, The Associated Press reports. All the patients tested negative for COVID-19 and other diseases like dengue, chikungunya or herpes.

  • The patients don’t live in the same area.
  • The patients aren’t genetically related to each other.
  • Everyone is from different age groups. Few of the sick are elderly, though.

“The cause is still unknown but still we are doing all kinds of testing, including testing food and milk,” said Dolla Joshi Roy, the district surveillance officer of Eluru’s West Godavari District, according to CNN.