Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 26
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
A mysterious illness that puts people to sleep has been for almost two years rampant in a small Kazakh village called Kalachi.
Kazakhstan's Healthcare and Social Development Ministry told Trend Nov. 26 that a working group that investigates the strange sleeping sickness has ruled out its viral or bacterial nature.
"The preliminary results of the studies on biomaterials taken from the sick allow for the moment to rule out the viral and bacterial nature of the disease," the ministry said.
The strange sleeping sickness in the Kalachi village of Kazakhstan was first registered in March 2013.
People literally fall asleep on the move: in the workplace, at school, and it is not possible to wake them up for a few days.
After waking up, the sick are observed to suffer from drowsiness, memory loss and fatigue, and some even have hallucinations.
Some people have several times suffered from the recurrence of the disease.
About 60 people have been ill with the disease since its emergence.
The ministry said that an interdepartmental working group was created at the instruction of Kazakhstan's prime minister to address the situation in Kalachi.
The group includes representatives of state agencies: ministries of energy, healthcare and social development, interior, national economy, as well as the national security committee and the region's local authority, and the representatives of research institutions.
Currently, the agencies included in the working group are conducting research on examining the soil, water and the air.
The outbreaks of the disease usually fall on spring and autumn. Around ten diseased persons have been recently registered in the village of Kalachi.
Despite the active work of Kazakh scientists, and those invited from Russia, they haven't been able to determine the exact cause of the disease so far. This is while medical examination says that these people are absolutely healthy.
There are various versions about the causes of the disease ranging from real to mystical ones. And one of the most popular versions is the uranium poisoning and the influence of radiation.
Kalachi is located in the vicinity of Krasnogorsk town, where uranium ore mined during the Soviet period. However, the mines were closed down in early 1990s. Nevertheless, the diseased residents were not working in those mines and the researches show that the background radiation in the village is within the normal range.
Additionally, the scientists involved in studying the consequences of the radiation share the opinion that radiation doesn't cause sleepiness and sleeping sickness was never observed in the areas contaminated by radiation.
Other versions include mass psychosis, poisoning, insect bites and even the impact of aliens.
Currently, doctors diagnose the diseased persons with "encephalopathy of unknown etiology" (brain damage by unknown substance) as before.
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