TAMIL NADU

Mystery disease: tribals shifted from hamlets

VIZIANAGARAM, AUG. 14. The Medical and Health Department has shifted 105 tribals, including women and children, of Regulapadu and Pedapaduvalasa, hamlets of Kooneru panchayat in Mentada mandal, to the Gajapathinagaram community health centre following four deaths in five days due to a mysterious disease. At least 24 tribals are being treated as inpatients at the centre.

The Challapeta PHC doctor, M. Aruna Kumari, who has been treating them, ruled out that the deaths were due to malaria. She said patients complained of a burning sensation in stomach and became speechless followed by loose motion and vomiting prior to death. The sarpanch of Kooneru, D. Tirupathi Rao, said the tribals believe that the deaths are due to `chillangi' (black magic).

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