New Asian Mystery Illness Hospitalizes Hundreds in New Delhi

With the world just now beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as it pertains to COVID-19, a new disease is sweeping through some of Asia’s most populated cities sparking new health concerns.

It has been a year since COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China, after the disease allegedly jumped from bats to humans at a “wet market” in the city. ¬†Since then, this novel strain of coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the world at large, and is currently experiencing a heavy second, (or maybe¬†third), wave here in the United States.

Now, halfway around the globe, a new mystery illness is tearing through India.

A “mystery” illness linked to one death put more than 300 people in the hospital over the weekend in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Dozens of residents in Eluru city started falling ill on Saturday night, with some losing consciousness.

India Mystery Illness
Patients and others are seen at the district government hospital in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh state, India, on December 6, 2020, as more than 300 people were admitted with an unidentified illness causing symptoms similar to epilepsy.AP

The patients reported symptoms similar to those associated with epilepsy, including headaches, nausea, vomiting and seizures. The number of patients rose sharply throughout Sunday. By Monday morning 315 people were in a local hospital. More than 150 patients were released after treatment, but that left about half of those who were admitted with the unexplained illness still in Eluru’s hospital.

A 45-year-old man who was brought in on Sunday morning with nausea and seizures died, but doctors said he had recovered from the epilepsy-like symptoms and died of other causes, according to the Indian news outlet, Scroll.

Doctors have not been able to establish the cause of the illness through blood tests, brain scans or cerebral spinal fluid tests. Results were still pending on some blood cultures and tests to look for the E. Coli bacteria.

Health officials are still unsure as to whether or not this illness is contagious, and have been testing samples of water and milk from the locally-affected areas.