At least 300 Indians have been hospitalized due to a yet to be identified sickness, local reports reveal. The illness is not linked to COVID-19 or any other viral disease yet, but health experts do not understand why so many people are exhibiting the same symptoms. Residents of Eluru, one of the cities in Andhra Pradesh, have been gripped by fear since the illness started during the weekend.
Some symptoms of the disease include nausea, fainting, and uncontrollable seizures. Dolla Joshi Roy, District Surveillance Officer of Godavari District which is located in the western part of Eluru, told reporters that all 300 patients that have been hospitalized are showing the same symptoms. Medical professionals in India pointed out that the symptoms are similar to those exhibited by epileptic people.
One of the patients, a 45-year-old man, died on Sunday. The man had the same symptoms and later died from a heart attack, according to local media outlets. The news agencies also reported that the first patients were hospitalized on Saturday after they started showing symptoms of the illness. The strange illness has only been reported in Eluru, local officials said.
The Asian country is one of the worst-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 9.74 million cases and almost 150,000 deaths. India is right behind the United States as the second country with the highest COVID-19 cases. Andhra Pradesh contributed over 800,000 cases to the high coronavirus figure in the country. Medical practitioners have, however, confirmed that hospitalized patients are not suffering from COVID-19.
“The patients have all been tested for COVID-19, and they all tested negative,” Roy confirmed in her statement. “The man who died had the same symptoms, but he later had a cardiac arrest which later led to his death. The arrest is not connected to the sickness, and other patients have either been discharged or are stable.”
Roy confirmed in her statement that 180 patients have been discharged from the hospitals. The health department in the state also stated in a news release that the preliminary investigation conducted into the mass hospitalization included comprehensive blood tests which did not show that a viral infection, such as dengue, was responsible for the patient’s symptoms.
Officials also announced that they are testing the water sources, which all the patients use, for signs of pollution. More than 57,000 samples were collected from the patients’ homes and sent to the laboratory. Roy said that food and dairy products are also being tested for signs of contamination.
Public health specialists, including a neurologist, have since been deployed from some other parts of the county to handle the situation in Eluru. A local newspaper reported that the experts believe that a form of pesticide used on mosquitos is believed to have been responsible for the illnesses. The Indian government stated that it has not confirmed the cause of the infections yet and that specialists are still carrying out tests.