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Village falls prey to 'toxic fever'

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WILL SOMEONE TREAT ME, PLEASE?: A woman suffering from the 'mystery disease' waiting for medical aid near the primary health centre at Bhoodan Pochampally in Nalgonda district on Monday as her daughters look lost. PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL
WILL SOMEONE TREAT ME, PLEASE?: A woman suffering from the 'mystery disease' waiting for medical aid near the primary health centre at Bhoodan Pochampally in Nalgonda district on Monday as her daughters look lost. PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL

S. Ramu

Medical and Health Department yet to conduct health camp

Joint, muscle pain, rashes, sudden fall in appetite are common symptomsBlood tests rule out malaria Enraged villagers raise slogans when Ministers visit Jalalpur

REVANAPALLY (NALGONDA): A pall of gloom has descended on this tiny village in Bhoodan Pochampally mandal as more than 200 villagers have been suffering with, what they call 'toxic fever' for the last one month. Though the entire village has been in the grip of tension, the Medical and Health Department has not conducted a full-fledged medical camp till date.

Joint pains, muscle pains, rashes on stomach and hands, feverish feeling and a sudden fall in appetite are the common symptoms. So far the doctors have not diagnosed the fever but the local health assistant has been administering Paracetamol and other painkillers.

Fifty-year-old Varabala Narsamma showed her swollen ankle and said: "I am unable to lift my hands and am suffering from unbearable pain. This is the case with others in the village." Suruvu Narayana, 66, told The Hindu on Monday that people had been suffering from joint pain. "I have never seen such a fever. In fact you cannot call it a fever since your body temperature is normal but joint pain, especially knee pain, are unbearable," he observed.

Residents of Bhavanarushipet and SC colony in Pochampally are also suffering from a similar disease. Local Government doctors sent blood smears of some of the patients for malaria testing and declared that they were not malaria cases.

No relief

"Doctors give similar tablets to all the patients and ask them to use them for four days. In almost all cases the medicine has not provided any relief," a youngster of the village complained.

The influential people are consulting private doctors and buying mineral water, but the poor and downtrodden are suffering in silence.

Enraged by the alleged apathy of the Government in dealing with the epidemic, youngsters raised slogans at the venue where the Union Minister for Rural Development, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and State Minister, D. Srinivas, participated in a couple of programmes at Swamy Ramananda Tirtha Rural Institute at Jalalpur near here.

They picked up an argument with the Zilla Parishad chairperson, Keetha Lakshmamma and other revenue officials soon after the Ministers left the place.

Following instructions from Joint Collector B. Sridhar Nalgonda RDO and in-charge of Bhongir division R. Hari Singh rushed to the village. He called on some of the patients and asked the doctors to organie a special medical camp in the village.

'Viral fever'

Medical Officer Somasekhar Goud who attended to 60 patients by 2 p.m., said that the reason for the epidemic could not be ascertained so far. "It is a viral fever and typically it could be controlled within 10 days," he said adding that symptomatic treatment was being given to the patients.

The RDO said that water samples would be sent for tests to know the exact reason for the health problems.


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