A Central team will visit Andhra Pradesh tomorrow to probe into the mysterious disease which has affected nearly 350 people in Eluru of West Godavari district and claimed the life of one as the state government ruled out water contamination.
The disease was not found to be contagious and affected people of all age groups.
However, the Opposition leader, N Chandrababu Naidu, who had earlier blamed the state government for failing to supply clean drinking water now accused the government of a cover-up.
According to the collector of West Godavari Revu Muthyala Raju, the total number of people who have fallen ill due to mysterious ailment stands at 340 out of which 157 are currently in hospital. 14 people were shifted for better treatment.
A 45-year-old man who was admitted at the government hospital with nausea and epilepsy has died which spread panic among the people. The causes of the outbreak are yet to be known.
According to officials who briefed chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy during his visit to Eluru today, (photo) the cases were being reported from Eluru rural and Dendaluru apart from Eluru urban area.
People of all age groups were prone to the infection. The officials said even people who have been drinking treated water and mineral water were also infected. About 22 water samples were collected. About 307 people from Eluru, another 30 from Eluru (rural) and 3 people from Denduluru have been affected. The symptoms include a single episode of epilepsy that continues between 3-5 minutes but not repeated, forgetfulness, anxiety, vomiting, headache, back pain. The intensity is low and the illness was not contagious. Blood samples taken from 52 patients were found to be normal. Cerebral spinal fluid samples showed normal cell count but culture reports are awaited. Milk samples are also being analysed.
The chief minister told officials that the observations of teams from National Institute of Nutrition, Indian Council of Chemical Technology and AIIMS should be taken into consideration.
Union minister of state for home affairs, G Kishen Reddy said, “The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI has decided to deploy a Central team consisting of three doctors to visit the place on 8 December and submit preliminary report after investigation.”
Meanwhile, Opposition TDP claimed the state government was busy in a coverup. “The mortal remains of Sridhar, who succumbed, were handed over to his family yesterday. Health officials came back in the night reclaiming the body for post-mortem. What is GoAP trying to cover up?” asked N Chandrababu Naidu.