Indian experts find traces of lead and nickel in patients’ blood

Indian health officials found traces of nickel and lead in some blood samples taken by hundreds of patients in a southern state because of a mysterious disease, officials said.

The government of the state of Andhra Pradesh said in a statement tonight that an examination by experts from the All India Medical Institute failed to identify the source of excessive nickel and lead particles in patients ’blood.

Reports from other studies by experts from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, including toxicological reports and blood cultures, are expected, the statement said.

Health officials and experts are still puzzled about how heavy metals got into patients ’blood and whether they are causing the mysterious disease, which has resulted in more than 585 people being hospitalized and one person dying in Andhra Pradesh. The disease was first discovered on Saturday night in Eluru, an ancient city famous for its hand-woven products.

People with the disease began to cramp without any warning, said Geeta Prasadini, the state health official.

Prime Minister Andhra Pradesh YS Jaganmohan Reddy held a virtual meeting on Wednesday with officials who included experts from India’s top scientific institutes. According to Reddy, 502 of those suffering from the disease were laid off after showing improvement.

Patients’ symptoms ranged from nausea and anxiety to loss of consciousness.

What bothers the experts, there seems to be no common connection between the hundreds of sick people. All patients were negatively tested for coronavirus and other viral diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, and herpes. Patients are not related to each other and not all live in the same area. They belong to different age groups, including about 70 children, but very few are elderly.

Initially, contaminated water was suspected. But the prime minister’s office confirmed that people who do not use the city’s water supply also became ill and that initial testing of water samples did not reveal harmful chemicals.

Doctors say a 45-year-old man named only Sridhar was hospitalized with symptoms reminiscent of epilepsy and died. Prasadini said his autopsy did not shed light on the cause of death.

Andhra Pradesh is one of the most affected by the coronavirus, with more than 800,000 cases detected. The state’s health system, like the rest of India, has been worn out by the virus.