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Pesticides investigated after mystery illness leaves hundreds sick, one dead

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Indian health experts are investigating how chemical pesticides may be linked to a mystery illness that has left 450 people sick and claimed one life.

Indian health experts are investigating how chemical pesticides may be linked to a mystery illness that has left 450 people sick and claimed one life.

The illness was detected Saturday evening in Eluru, an ancient city famous for its hand-woven products, in the south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Since then, patients have experienced symptoms ranging from nausea and anxiety to loss of consciousness, doctors said.

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Authorities are now investigating if organochlorine pesticides are linked to the illness, The Times of India reports.

The substances, which include the controversial DDT insecticide, are widely used in agriculture and mosquito control.

An unnamed official confirmed pesticides were suspected and laboratory testing was being carried out.

"We are waiting for the laboratory report (for confirmation)."

A 45-year-old man who was hospitalised with symptoms similar to epilepsy and nausea died on Sunday, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

So far, water samples from impacted areas haven't shown any signs of contamination and patients have tested negative for COVID-19.

A note released by Andhra Pradesh's Health Department said that initial blood tests did not find any evidence of a viral infection, such as dengue or chikungunya, which are both caused by mosquito bites.

"The cause is still unknown but still we are doing all kinds of testing, including testing food and milk," said Dolla Joshi Roy, the district surveillance officer of Eluru's West Godavari District.

Andhra Pradesh state is among those worst hit by COVID-19, with more than 800,000 detected cases.

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The health system in the state, like the rest of India, has been frayed by the virus.

- Reported with AP, CNN

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/mystery-illness-india-pesticides-suspected-hundreds-sick/148d7096-3b87-4628-9ef1-96c2eca1354e

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