There are now 550 people who have contracted a mysterious disease in India and are hospitalized. After finding nickel and lead in patient blood samples, the cause is now suspected due to excessive use of bleach and chlorine during sanitation to prevent COVID-19.
"Health experts suspect that excessive use of bleaching powder and chlorine in sanitation programs as part of COVID-19 prevention measures could be a cause of water contamination. This is just one of the causes we are exploring," Andhra Pradesh Health Minister A Krishna Srinivas told The Indian Express .
A World Health Organization (WHO) team arriving in Eluru, the city in India, where the outbreak has erupted, is observing the affected areas. Starting from the eating habits of Indian citizens and details of the health of the victims who were exposed.
A team of experts from WHO, AIIMS (New Delhi), the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, the Center for Molecular Biology, and the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology told local authorities to focus on investigating the source of water pollution.
The presence of lead and nickel in the patient's body may be attributed to pesticides mixed with the water supply in Eluru. Doctors and experts from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said investigations so far had uncovered high levels of lead and nickel in patients.
"It was also found that there was a significant decrease in the level of lead in the patient's body after 24 hours of illness," said an official.
Another previous cause related to the mysterious outbreak in India is also thought to be due to exposure to organochlorines. This is because exposure to these chemicals causes seizures, headaches, and other symptoms that are exactly experienced by the victims.
Even so, until now there is no definite cause that reveals the origin of the outbreak. Indian authorities have also been urged to immediately find out the cause of the mysterious disease that is ravaging his country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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