About 40 people infected with a mysterious sleeping disease in Kazakhstan last two weeks

About 40 people infected with a mysterious sleeping disease in Kazakhstan last two weeks

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 6

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

About 40 residents of Kazakhstan's Kalachi village got infected with mysterious sleeping disease in last two weeks, Kazakh KTK TV channel reported.

The strange sleeping sickness in the Kalachi village was first registered in March 2013 - people literally fall asleep on the move: at work, 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.

Among the people who fell asleep in last two weeks there are adults and children, women and men, and even one Russian citizen who came to Kalachi as a guest. All the diseased were assisted in local hospital. The cause of the disease was not determined.

"In general the disease is registered at any time of the year: the spring, winter and summer, and fall. Therefore, specific causes and specific effects of some external factor are not defined," Deputy Head of the Health Department of Akmola region Gulzira Abdirahmanova said.

On Jan. 5 evening four more people fallen asleep were hospitalized in Karachi, Kazakhstan Today news agency reported.

Earlier, an interdepartmental working group was created at the instruction of Kazakh 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.

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 the people fallen asleep 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 residents affected by the disease 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.

A total number of 223 families live in Kalachi, including 106 families with children.

Earlier head of Kazakh Akmola region, where the village is located, Sergey Kulagin said that the dwellers the village of Kalachi would be resettled.

The resettlement of all the population from Kalachi will cost approximately 2 billion tenge (182.05 KZT = $ 1), according to Kulagin.

First of all, the families with children will be resettled to other regions in the first half of 2015, he said.

About 70 percent of the village dwellers willingly agreed to leave the village, according to the head of the region.

Edited by S.I.

Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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