Mysterious illness with vomiting, seizures hits over 300 people in India

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/12/07/mysterious-illness-with-vomiting-seizures-hits-over-300-people-in-india.html

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You thought 2020 was over?

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I’d guess some kind of food-source poisoning.

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The first thing that came to mind was some kind of environmental chemical contaminant, possibly something in the water but it could be something that has tainted a locally made food stuff. I kind of doubt it’s a virus or bacteria but anything is possible.

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Most likely this isn’t a contagious disease - it’s not the first time that a bunch of people got sick due to contaminated/deliberately poisoned food or drink, a toxic leak, etc. With a highly populous and densely populated country like India, one source can sicken an unbelievable number of people. The fact that everyone got sick all at once, in the same place, indicates that’s what’s going on.

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The cyanide tainted water wells came to mind

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Seriously, we only have 24 days left (in the US). I was hoping we’d only have to deal with the usual December drama on top of the pandemic. You know, mass layoffs, evictions, and other financial shenanigans companies and governments use to close out the fiscal year. Another illness is just piling on!

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Checking the festival calendar says that there are no major festivals right now that might account for a mass food poisoning event; Diwali was a few weeks ago, but there might have been some local festival.

Events like weddings are possibilities though.

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The rather neurological flavor of the symptoms makes me wonder about a pesticide; but I imagine that the local medical types have a better background on locally-plausible contaminants than I do; so the fact that it is still ‘mysterious’ suggests that it’s either not that obvious or local testing resources are pretty rudimentary. Maybe both.

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2020/1/1 : “… we came in?”
. . .
2020/12/31 : “Isn’t this where …”

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Yes, when Union Carbide had that accident in Bhopal, they had thoroughly briefed local health authorities beforehand on the safety hazards involved in their plant, and provided lots of truthful information about the leak while it was still happening, which is why no one was hurt. Or something like that, I forget the details

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Here’s hoping the guy who bought the kilogram of cyanide to see how it smells hasn’t been doing experiments in India.

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A BJP MP is suggesting lead, nickel and heavy metals were found in blood tests.

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they must have opened a Taco Bell nearby. or an Arby’s.

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pose-pray-greaaat

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Likely came from poor quality water, but the article says that the water was tested and it did not find elevated levels of heavy metals. I don’t think that necessarily discounts the possibility of water being the culprit

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Could it have been food contamination? fish contaminated with heavy metals or plantation that received water with industrial waste.

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