Andhra health emergency: Chronology of symptoms quite unusual, say doctors

IMA State president says sequence of symptoms exhibited by patients do not fit into list of any known disease.

Published: 07th December 2020 09:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th December 2020 09:37 AM   |  A+A-

Patients undergoing treatment at Eluru government hospital on Sunday I Express

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The hospitalisation of over 270 people including children has left the State in a shock. While the health officials and experts are leaving no stone unturned to identify the cause of the illness, the doctors have stated that it is difficult to conclude anything as the set and sequence of symptoms exhibited by these patients do not fit into the list of any known disease.

Speaking to TNIE, Indian Medical Association (IMA) Andhra Pradesh State president Dr N Subramanyam explained, “We cannot say whether it is a waterborne disease or a viral infection because for any such disease, the order of symptoms is quite fixed. It starts with the patient complaining of stomach ache resulting in food or water poisoning and fever. This is followed by vomiting, headache and fits or seizures in extreme cases as the fever enters the brain and hampers brain functions. But in this case, the patients fainted first and then frothed or directly started vomiting even before complaining of dehydration or stomach ache.” 

There may be chances of encephalitis, but again the initial sequence of symptoms are not matched as well, the IMA State president added. An epidemiologist on condition of anonymity stated that it was too early to consider this as a mass outbreak of any waterborne disease. “Unless we get results of water sample analysis, we cannot conclude that it is a waterborne disease. Also, the chronology of the symptoms is quite unusual, which needs to be thoroughly investigated,” the epidemiologist stated.

GVL speaks to AIIMS Director
Vijayawada: BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao said that he had interacted with Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Dr Randeep Guleria, regarding hundreds of people falling sick in Eluru. “With the help of the Director, experts spoke to the district medical superintendent. The cause of the issue is most likely poisonous organochlorine substances. Also, a team of five experts from AIIMS, Mangalagiri, will reach Eluru to offer their help,” he said. The MP also added that he had spoken to Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney and was coordinating with the State and the Centre.

Botcha says no abnormalities in water samples
Vijayawada: Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister Botcha Satyanarayana said the government was still in the process of ascertaining the cause for hundreds of people falling sick in the limits of Eluru Municipal Corporation (EMC). He said the department had completed testing of drinking water samples in the areas of the Corporation and found no abnormalities in 10 major parameters. “About 264 people fell sick and 70 have been discharged already. We tested water samples for 10 major parameters including colour, calcium, hardness and others, and the results showed no abnormalities,” he said.


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