December 11th – Hundreds of people in Andhra Pradesh, India, have contracted a mysterious disease, which local health officials said may be due to their drinking of water containing excessive bleach and chlorine.
According to the British Daily Star on the 10th, more than 550 people have been ill, which triggered a large-scale investigation.
A multidisciplinary expert team from the World Health Organization, the National Institute of Nutrition, the National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad, the Indian Academy of Medical Sciences and the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology are currently investigating the causes of the disease.
Excessive use of bleach and chlorine could lead to water pollution, says Andhra Pradesh health officials “Health experts believe that excessive use of bleach and chlorine as part of COVID-19 precautions may be the cause of water pollution,” Andhra Pradesh Health Minister Krishna Srinivas told The Indian Express.
Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office issued a statement saying: “The patient’s body is very high in heavy metal elements such as lead and nickel, which may be contaminated with pesticides.” Health experts agree after analyzing patients’ blood samples. In addition, the study also found that the lead content in the patient decreased significantly after 24 hours of illness.
“Water sources contaminated with broken batteries could also be one of the pathogenic factors,” one official said. Officials are examining samples of food, water, urine, milk and blood from the families of patients and analyzing samples of vegetables and necessities on the market to find out the disease.