Medical team sent to Manipur district to collect samples: Official

Imphal, Feb 2 (IANS) At least 22 people affected by a mysterious disease in Thoubal district were admitted in a local hospital even as a medical team was sent on Tuesday to collect samples from the affected villagers, officials said.

It will help identify the disease affecting the residents of different villages in Thoubal district for the past two days, J.N. Institute of Medical Sciences director Devendra Laishram told IANS here.

At least four more people showing symptoms of the disease were admitted in the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) here on Tuesday morning. Reports said some others were admitted in private hospitals in Imphal.

“Twenty-two people have been admitted to the hospital with complaints of the unknown disease. However, two patients were discharged after they showed signs of improvement,” RIMS medical superintendent Maisnam Amuba said.

He said the condition of the remaining patients was not serious and appealed to the patients and their family members to remain calm.

Amuba said nothing could be said with certainty about the disease, adding that samples collected from patients will help identity the disease.

He said people might have taken ill after consuming water drawn from tube wells or handpumps in areas affected by the January 4 earthquake.

However, a few patients told IANS that it couldn’t be a reason for the outbreak of the disease. “We have been consuming tube well water for decades as there is no piped water in our village. We never suffered from such disease in the past,” said one of the patients.

Informed sources told IANS that authorities are making preparations to accommodate patients who might be rushed to Imphal for treatment. Also, the state government has instructed health officials to supply free medicines to the affected people.

A health department official said since the disease was yet to be identified, the Manipur government had not issued any advisory to the public.

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