More probationary excise sub-inspectors, who are receiving training at the AP Prohibition and Excise Academy at Bandlaguda on the city’s outskirts, were admitted to the Fever Hospital at Nallakunta in the city on Monday.
Even as doctors at the government hospital were examining the infection of the 51 already admitted on Saturday night and Sunday, more than 15 new cases were reported on Monday with the same symptoms, Dr K Shankar, superintendent of Fever Hospital, said.
“There are around 60 of them in the hospital now. Diphtheria was ruled out as the sickness of the freshly-admitted as well. Tests are still being conducted and the actual cause of the infection will be known by Wednesday,” he said and hinted that it could be Follicular tonsillitis, an air-borne infection that is bacterial or viral,” he said.
“Their condition is stable and they are responding to antibiotics well. They were sent here for quarantine as the disease is very contagious,” the superintendent said.
All those hospitalised complained of headache, body pain and fever, while two of them also had vomittings. “We suspect that food contamination may be the cause of this disease. Although these cases are to be referred to ENT (ear, nose,throat) doctors, the patients are here so that they remain in isolation,” Shankar said.
“I started feeling feverish on Friday night, and later on around 30 of my colleagues also said they were suffering from the same symptoms. We were taken first to Shadan Hospital at Bandlaguda and transferred later to Fever Hospital as the doctors suspected that we were all suffering from diphtheria,” said D Gajender. He too said the trainees were made to do the exercises in very dusty conditions. Others said they were unable to get clean food and drinking water, and were forced to eat outside.
“Many of us had been staying in private hostels for the past one month as the academy officials did not provide us accommodation,” Gajender complained.
Others echoed his feelings but were not forthcoming to speak further.