A mysterious illness has broken out in India that has left one man dead and over 400 hundred hospitalized in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The new illness was first discovered over the weekend when multiple patients began showing up at the hospital with symptoms. Times of India reports, BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao said, "scientists from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences" are investigating the cause of the mysterious illness and are "testing patients for neurotoxins,".

A large number of patients were children and people under the age of 70.

Patients are experiencing multiple symptoms that include headache, nausea, burning eyes, loss of consciousness, seizures, and convulsions. COVID-19 and other possible illnesses were ruled out as the cause since all patients were tested.

Officials respond to the mysterious illness

TDP national general secretary, N. Lokesh said experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences are looking into the possibility of exposure to “poisonous organochlorine substances."

Organochlorine is an organic compound that is used in many applications with environmental concerns.

Organochlorine has high toxicity to humans, animals, and plants. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, organochlorines can be absorbed from the lungs, stomach, and skin. Symptoms of organochlorine poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, tremors, respiratory depression, seizures, and coma.

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Dolla Joshi Roy, the district surveillance officer of Eluru's West Godavari District stated that the mysterious illness might have been caused by “water contamination.” Samples of water have been taken from thousands of homes but nothing has been found in the water at this time.

TDP national general secretary Nara Lokesh visited patients affected by the illness and the area.

Lokesh accused the government of very “poor sanitation" and hiding “facts” about what was going on.

Water contamination possible cause of mysterious illness

Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and current opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu believe that government officials are lying about water contamination. On Twitter, Naidu stated, “the Eluru water contamination incident calls for a declaration of Health Emergency in Andhra Pradesh.”

Polluted water in India

There is a severe water pollution crisis in India that affects millions of people a year in both rural and urban populations.

Without having long-term water management the countries waterways are polluted with untreated sewage, industrial waste, cremated bodies, and dead animals. The citizens in India use water for personal hygiene, cooking, drinking, and religious ceremonies in their daily routines.

Due to India’s poor water quality, 38 million Indians a year suffer from waterborne diseases. Waterborne diseases and illnesses Indians experience include typhoid, cholera, hepatitis E (HEV), and parasitic diseases. The implications of water contamination also have an elevated risk of adverse pregnancy risk and birth defects. There have been links to increased birth defects in the Punjabi cities of Bathinda due to uranium being dumped into the waters from industrial waste.

Air Pollution causes illnesses

Air pollution is another serious issue in India with 21 cities that are listed as worse in the world. According to the World’s Health Organization safe limits, India is 20 times over the safe amount that should be allowed. Air pollution in India is caused by industrial businesses, vehicles, and crop burning. It causes approximately 2 million deaths a year in India.

The National Academy of Sciences of the United States reports that air pollution affects both the urban and rural areas of India. Satellite data shows India’s air quality at the PM2.5 level. PM2.5 level is a term used for fine particles in the air that can only be seen with a microscope. The level is caused by the use of solid and liquid fuels being used.

It is recommended that with the PM2.5 level for people to stay indoors but that is not possible for the people of India.

India's air pollution has been linked to premature deaths, numerous cancers, respiratory issues, long term nerve damage, and birth defects. Children exposed to high levels of air pollution have asthma, learning disabilities, mental problems, and multiple medical issues.