Lead and nickel found in 500 patients with unknown disease in India

New health alert in India. Last Thursday, a large number of people came to the medical services of the state of Andhra Pradesh suffering from strange symptoms: dizziness, fainting, headaches, and vomiting. Soon, the doctors realized that the conditions of these people had nothing to do with the coronavirus and, of course, did not match any known disease. In a matter of five days, more than 500 people They have been admitted to different hospitals in the area suffering from the same problem. What is it about?

In the first place, the medical services performed the pertinent PCR on all those patients and they all tested negative. So, after ruling out that these symptoms were due to covid-19, they began to investigate what could be producing this high number of patient admissions. The Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi immediately went to work to try to find a medical answer to this situation, especially after discovering that a good part of the income corresponds to children.

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Since this medical situation became known, of the 500 people who have entered the hospitals about 300 correspond to minors and, for now, we only have to mourn the death of one person, 45 years old. After starting the most exhaustive tests to look for more clues that would allow us to find what was causing this mysterious disease, doctors soon found a common pattern: traces of lead and nickel particles in the blood of the people admitted, according to Reuters.

At the moment, the medical services have not obtained an answer that allows us to understand why all these people have ingested these potentially dangerous materials for the human body. In fact, the concern in Andhra Pradesh is maximumespecially due to lead levels, as a high concentration in the bloodstream can cause irreversible damage to the development of the brain, nervous system, and other vital organs, such as the heart and lungs. Taking into account that a good part of the income is from minors, the risk they face can be high.

As stated Getta Prasadini, director of public health of Andhra Pradesh, one of the possibilities being considered is directly related to pesticides, considering that the combination of chlorine and nickel found in the human body can perfectly match poisonous organochlorine substances that can be used especially in rural areas to end mosquito pests. In fact, it is one of the main components of the dichlor diphenyl trichloroethane or, better known as DDT, a insecticide and pesticide banned in many parts of the world for its toxicity.

The Indian health authorities continue to work in various ways to try to clarify what happened and, although a hypothetical contamination from the use of a prohibited pesticide may be the main hypothesis, for now it is not clear why more than 500 people have fallen ill in a matter of five days. It is true that the symptoms caused by the ingestion of organochlorine pesticides fit the description of people admitted to hospitals, but the tests have not yet been conclusive to determine that this was the cause of the disease.

A man explaining his symptoms to doctors in Andhra Pradesh. (EFE)

Of the 500 people who have fallen ill, many of them have already been discharged after fully recovering, although 148 of them continue to be hospitalized in different medical centers where they are being treated to reverse the symptoms. According to the authorities of the area, in the last 24 hours there have been no new admissions to hospital centers due to this situation, although it is especially worrying that many of those affected have been children of whom it is unknown why have they been exposed to this health problem.

The main problem with organochlorine substances is related to the ability to irreversibly affect humans. Due to their danger, these products are prohibited or, at least, restricted in many countries of the world, since, already during the decade of the seventies of the last century, a series of investigations linked them directly to the exponential increase in the number of all types of cancers and other life-threatening illnesses.

The main problem is that this substance could not have been used now, but could even be evaporating from the body fat of some species, as it has been shown that this polluting product is capable of being released into the environment decades after being ingested by some animals. The investigation will try to shed light on the case and discover the cause that has led to 500 people being admitted to India due to an unknown disease.