Due to a mysterious illness that has put more than 250 people to hospitals and being the cause of demise for 1 person, the citizens of Andhra and now our nation have one question in their minds: Will Eluru, the city known for its finely crafted carpets and handwoven products turn into Wuhan, the city now infamous for being the ground zero of COVID-19 and give this year another pandemic to deal with?

The outbreak first surfaced in Eluru city and later took its hold in the surrounding rural cities. More than 250 citizens flooded the hospitals with symptoms that ranged from headaches, nausea to fits and epiliptic seizures. 

Most of the victims of this mysterious disease are in the age group of 20-30 with 45 patients are children below 12 years. As the story develops, we know that over 140 of these patients have been discharged and returned home while the rest remain in a stable condition. 

A 45 year old man, who was hospitalized due to the symptoms aforementioned, died on Sunday. 

It is however interesting to note that all the patients tested negative for COVID-19, as well as for other diseases such as dengue, herpes and chikungunya. As the reports have been negative for all probable diseases, the citizens and authorities are baffled and alarmed. 

According to a memorandum by the Union Health Ministry a special team is set to visit Andhra Pradesh today. Although the cause and the origin of this disease remains to be found yet, the preliminary analysis of tests done so far have indicated that organochlorine substances might play a key role in it. 

Water contamination has also been ruled out by the authorities in the sudden spread of the disease. To ascertain the cause of this outbreak, water and milk samples have also been sent to CCMB(Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology).

While the state minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy visited the hospitals where the patients were admitted to get an insight over the situation, the opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu remains critical of the efforts made so far and has condemned the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party(YSRYCP). He has also called for a thorough inquiry into the incident in one of his tweets.

With 7000 people losing their lives due to the Covid pandemic and 8,72,288 confirmed cases, the state of Andhra Pradesh has been one of the worst hit states by COVID-19. 

With COVID-19 turning out to be a harsh lesson for authorities in understanding a disease, and taking steps to curb it, it will be interesting to see whether the Andhra government takes adequate steps in recognizing the origin of this outbreak and taking enough measures to curb it before it takes hold of more villages, more cities, more resources, & more individuals. Individuals that are already having a hard time finding their footing during the pandemic.