The stated health department is investigating the reason behind the mystery illness that has struck in Eluru town in Andhra Pradesh. This type of unknown illnesses is common across India. Here are a few examples of health scares that have eluded doctors.
Unexplained fever and sudden nausea. Untimely deaths… these are outcomes of mystery illnesses to have baffled doctors in India for years. Those have misled doctors in India for years and many still continue to elude the healthcare system.
1. Eluru, Andhra Pradesh
Hundreds fell sick and one person died. Due to a mystery illness here locals complained of seizures, dizziness and nausea. Health officials suspected water contamination by lead and nickel. Other possible reasons included pesticide leak and chemical leak from Covid-19 sanitation drives.
JJ babu, scientist of the state government said “Milk samples and some vegetables collected for testing. Some ration also, what is there in the rice also we are going to collect it. Health officials were perplexed. As not all household members had fallen sick while those who use packaged drinking water were also it.
2. Muzaffarpur, Bihar
The cause of children’s death here was linked to litchis but is yet to be confirmed. In June 2019 at least 84 children had died in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur from brain disease allegedly linked to the tropical fruit. These children showed symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome. These children showed symptoms of AES along with Hypoglycaemia and sudden loss of glucose in their blood. AES is a neurological illness that causes a high fever and that causes high fever and inflammation of the brain. In Muzaffarpur since 1995, such outbreaks have coincided with the Litchi harvest season. In 2017, Lancet Global Health found a connection between Litchi consumption and the suspected AES deaths. Known locally as Chamki Bukhar, known locally as brain fever suspected AES had claimed more than 400 lives in Muzaffarpur since 2010.
3. Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh
Gorakhpur is a centre of recurring AES outbreaks. More than 1,000 children had died in the 2005 Japanese encephalitis outbreak here. Several thousand encephalitis cases have been reported in the state over the last four decades. While some were linked to the Japanese encephalitis virus, the majority of them are vaguely classified under AES.
During late 1990, locals in Nagaon in Karbi Anglon district in Assam had bent limbs and mottled teeth. While doctors thought it was polio or rickets and locals believed it was witchcraft. It turned out to be fluoride contamination of water. Despite efforts to improve water quality between 2011 and 2017, over 1,000 children had dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis in Hojai district.
5. Bareilly to Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh
In 2018, another mystery fever struck six districts in Uttar Pradesh. Out of 202 deaths in Bareilly, the cause of 178 was unknown. In Bahraich, around 71 children died from an unknown fever in over a month. Some of the deaths were linked to asphyxia pneumonia and some were linked to brain fever.
India’s National Centre for Disease Control has a disease surveillance programme to monitor outbreaks in the country. But for years, it struggled to even spend the sum it was allotted.