21-member panel to probe ‘mystery illness’ in Andhra town

The government said 595 persons were affected by the illness and of them, 515 have been discharged

Mystery illness
The 'mystery illness' first came to the fore last week with patients complaining of symptoms like seizures, nausea and fainting | Photo: Twitter

A 21-member multi-disciplinary panel has been set up to probe the reason behind the “mystery illness” that has affected over 500 persons in Eluru town of Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district.

The government said 595 persons were affected by the illness and of them, 515 have been discharged. Only one casualty has been reported so far, according to reports.

“After careful examination of the situation, the Government constitutes a multi-disciplinary committee to investigate the source of the infection, thoroughly examine various causes of the incident and suggest remedial measures to prevent any occurrence of such events in future in the state,” reports quoted a government statement as saying.

Related news | Neurotoxins lead, nickel behind ‘mysterious disease’ in Andhra town

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The panel will be led by the state’s chief secretary and comprise IAS officers and scientists. In the statement, the government asked the committee to immediately submit its report with a detailed plan of action to avert such incidents in future.

The ‘mystery illness’ first came to the fore last week with patients complaining of symptoms like seizures, nausea and fainting. The recovery, however, was quick and most of the patients were discharged with a couple of hours.

A preliminary study by medical experts had found “neuro-toxicity” the reason behind the illness while initially it was thought to be a case of water contamination. Two reports — one from AIIMS, New Delhi, and another from AIIMS, Mangalagiri — found traces of lead and nickel in the blood samples collected from patients from 10 different places in Eluru.

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