The mysterious illness cases in Andhra Pradesh's Pulla village in West Godavari district rose up to 29 by 9 am on Wednesday. However, the active patients were only six, said health officials. "No new cases since midnight," West Godavari district joint collector Himanshu Shukla told IANS.
Pulla village in Bhimadole mandal, where cases of a mysterious illness cases are being reported in the past few days, is 30 km north east of the Eluru town, where a mystery illness that surfaced in early December affected around 600 persons, and resulted in the death of one person.
Of the six active cases, two are admitted in Pulla primary health centre (PHC) and four in Eluru district hospital. As many as 23 patients have been discharged until now, even as nearly 100 hospital beds have been arranged at Pulla, Bhimadole and Eluru. The district administration deputed three general physicians, 17 PHC doctors, 10 ANMs and 30 ASHA workers.
The affected patients exhibited symptoms such as fainting, frothing, convulsions, vomiting and others, some of which are similar to the Eluru illness. This development comes within just a months' time since the Eluru episode in the same district.
However, most of the patients have recovered within hours after being affected by the mysterious illness, authorities have said.
On Tuesday, Health Minister Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas visited Pulla PHC. He said experts will determine why these cases have come up. Authorities have also sent water and food samples for testing, to determine the cause of the illness.
Meanwhile, opposition leader and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national general secretary Nara Lokesh on Wednesday demanded that the state government declare a health emergency in Pulla. "Declare a health emergency in Pulla and provide better healthcare," demanded Lokesh.
He alleged that the government should not give statements that drinking water was not contaminated, and advised that it was better for the government to provide potable water than allegedly restraining news regarding the issue.