Since then, symptoms ranging from nausea and anxiety to loss of consciousness have been reported in 546 hospitalized patients. Many have recovered and returned home, while 148 are still being treated, said Dasari Nagarjuna, a government spokesman.
Teams of experts from the best scientific institutes in India have arrived in the city. Different theories have been suggested and are being tested. The most recent hypothesis is the contamination of food by pesticides.
“But no one knows,” Prasadini admitted.
Initially, contaminated water was suspected. But the prime minister’s office confirmed that people who do not use the municipal water supply have also become ill and that initial tests of the water samples did not reveal any harmful chemicals.
A 45-year-old man with the single name Sridhar was hospitalized with symptoms resembling epilepsy and died Sunday night, doctors said. Prasadini said his autopsy did not shed any light on the cause of death.
The hypothesis currently being tested is that people ate pesticide-contaminated vegetables made from organic compounds that contain phosphorus. But this is an “assumption” based on the fact that such pesticides are commonly used in the area and not on any evidence, Prasadini said.
He said experts were running tests to see if pesticides had contaminated fish ponds or spilled on vegetables.
The state of Andhra Pradesh is among the worst affected by COVID-19, with more than 800,000 cases detected. The health system in the state, like the rest of India, has been affected by the virus.
– Reported with Associated Press