A preliminary report of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, has found traces of heavy metals lead and nickel in at least 10 blood samples collected from patients from different places in Eluru town in West Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh. The AIIMS team conducted the blood tests after at least 550 people fell sick in Eluru town since Saturday evening due to an undiagnosed illness. The results indicate lead and nickel content in drinking water or/and milk as the possible reason behind people falling ill.
Superintendent of Eluru Government Hospital Dr A V Mohan told The Indian Express: “The sample size that we sent on an urgent basis to AIIMS was small but their report indicates presence of heavy metals like lead and nickel in the blood samples of patients. We have sent more samples and their reports are awaited.”
Dr Mohan said that of the 550 people who were admitted, only 84 remain in hospitals now and they would also be discharged soon.
Earlier, West Godavari District Collector R Muthyala Raju said, “Some of these people complained of seizures, anxiety, vomiting, and headache. So far, the illness has not spread from one to another person. People living in other areas, where Eluru Municipality does not supply drinking water, have also fallen ill.”
Following the AIIMS report, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy Tuesday directed the officials to submit a detailed report on the illness, tests conducted and the treatment being offered along with the reports of tests conducted on milk and water.
A statement from the Chief Minister’s Office said: “The CM enquired about the mystery illness in Eluru and directed the officials to be vigilant and conduct all the possible tests to find the actual cause.”
“An Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) team is also running tests and the results are awaited,” the CMO statement added.
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