VIJAYAWADA: The number of people admitted to the Eluru Government General Hospital in West Godavari district complaining of symptoms of a ‘mysterious illness’ increased Sunday even as health officials appear clueless in diagnosing the same.
By afternoon, 227 people, including 46 children, were hospitalised and around 70 were discharged after their condition became stable. The condition of five, including a six-year-old girl, who were shifted to the Government General Hospital in Vijayawada was stable.
Consumption of contaminated water is suspected to be the reason behind the sudden hospitalisations, but officials clarified that they are still awaiting results of the water samples sent for testing.
Interestingly, the Covid-19 tests performed on everyone admitted to the hospital returned negative. Blood and CFS samples were taken from the patients and sent for testing. CT scans were also done.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy enquired about the incident with Health Minister Alla Nani and directed the health department to make every effort for the recovery of the people affected by the illness and find out the reason behind it. He instructed them to send a medical team from Vijayawada to Eluru immediately.
The Health Minister again visited the Eluru Government General hospital this morning and interacted with the patients and doctors. Speaking to mediapersons, he said five people were shifted to Vijayawada for better treatment as their condition was serious. Some of them were suffering from other medical ailments like kidney problems. “Around 70 people were discharged and at present, 157 including 46 children and 76 women are under treatment. There is no danger to their lives and the condition of most of them is stable,” he explained.
Stating that medical camps were organised in South Street, East Street, Arundhati Pet and other areas in Eluru from where more cases were reported, the Minister said a door-to-door survey is being conducted to identify if there are any other unreported cases. He said additional beds were also readied at the Ashram Hospital and also in the Vijayawada Government hospital as a precautionary measure and emergency medical vehicles (108) were on standby with medical teams.
He maintained that there was no contamination of water supplied in the city and the results of blood samples also came negative. “Now we are waiting for culture cell sensitive tests,” he said.
Eluru Government Hospital superintendent Mohan Rao, briefing the media, said all the patients were being given emergency medical treatment and 80 per cent of them were stable. “They were admitted after they suffered convulsions and had mild headaches. In several cases, they fainted after vomiting. Some of them had bone dislocations and muscular pains,” he said and added that epidemiology and microbiology experts from Vijayawada are coming to Eluru to determine the cause of the illness. Services of psychiatrists and psychologists are also being used to counsel the patients, several of whom are distressed and anxious.
Some of the patients, who were discharged, said they did not know what had happened and that they were later informed they fainted after a bout of convulsions. Most of them said they had consumed tap water as usual and started vomiting before fainting.