India investigates mystery illness which put over 200 in hospital

Officials in India are investigating the cause of an unidentified illness which led to more than 200 people being admitted to hospital over the weekend.

The patients, from Eluru in Andhra Pradesh, had a wide range of symptoms from nausea to fits and falling unconscious, doctors said.

A number of beds at Eluru Government Hospital have been freed up in case they are needed.

The illness comes as India continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Local media said the patients had taken coronavirus tests, all of which were negative.

A medical officer at Eluru Government Hospital told The Indian Express: “The people who fell sick, especially the children, suddenly started vomiting after complaining of burning eyes. Some of them fainted or suffered bouts of seizures”.

Many of those taken to hospital recovered and were quickly discharged.

Andhra Pradesh Health Minister Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas said that blood samples did not find any evidence of a viral infection.

“We ruled out water contamination or air pollution as the cause after officials visited the areas where people fell sick,” he said. “It is some mystery illness and only lab analysis will reveal what it is.”

However the government’s opposition, Telugu Desam Party, has called for an enquiry into the incident, insisting that contamination was the cause of the mystery illness. (Courtesy BBC/Agencies)