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AP: Medical teams suspects pesticide residue cause mysterious illness in Eluru

Andhra Pradesh’s Eluru baffling health experts and the government alike, preliminary analysis of various test reports has almost established the role of organ chlorine substances in the poisoning that has left one dead and over 480 affected. Multiple teams of experts from premier scientific institutions of the country are determining the exact cause of the poisoning in Eluru city of Andhra Pradesh.

Organochlorine pesticides are chlorinated hydrocarbons used in agriculture and mosquito control. The compounds include Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), which is widely used in anti-mosquito fogging. “Mostly yes, but we are waiting for the laboratory report (for confirmation),” a top official of the Medical and Health Department told PTI on Monday, when asked about organ chlorine being the disease-triggering agent.

Andhra Pradesh, 480 people have fallen sick and admitted to hospital following a mysterious disease in Eluru city. More than 178 patients have been discharged from hospital and returned home after recovery. The conditions of others are stable.

Central teams and medical experts are visiting the affected areas in Eluru. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S.Jagan Mohan Reddy visited Eluru in West Godavari district yesterday to have a firsthand knowledge of the mysterious disease spread in Eluru. After talking to experts at the AIIMS, New Delhi, BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao had initially suspected that the poisonous organochlorine substances could be the most likely cause of the mysterious disease.

With water contamination ruled out as the cause of the disease spread, and also other tests turning out normal, the medical teams are now focussing on other chemical agents that could have led to the outbreak.

Teams of experts from the National Institute of Nutrition and the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad reached Eluru on Monday and collected various samples for analysis. Water and milk samples were also sent to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad for analysis of heavy metal content, sources in the Medical and Health Department said.

On the request of the state government, a team of experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in New Delhi, as well as another team drafted by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will be arriving in Eluru on Tuesday “on an urgent visit” for a study and possibly determine the cause of the poisoning. A team from the Indian Council of Medical Research is also expected.

The Chief Minister visited the patients who were being treated for unidentified and mysterious illness. Chief Minister Y.S.Jagan Mohan Reddy was accompanied by Health Minister, Alla Kalikrishna Srinivas and District In Charge Minister, Perni Venataramaiah and TTD Chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy. After the consultation with the victims CM conducted a review meeting with the authorities at the Zilla Parishad conference Hall at Eluru.

Chief Minister has ordered to take appropriate action on the situation. He directed the authorities to monitor the treatment thoroughly. The senior officials of the medical health department, on the orders of the CM, are also conducting consultations in Eluru and conducting various tests on the causes leading to the illness. The samples have been sent for the final result.

More than 264 of the patients have returned home and discharged after treatment at the hospital while the condition of others is stable, the West Godavari district medical and health officials revealed.

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