A mystery illness has left 227 people hospitalised and at least one dead in one Indian town.
Patients in Eluru in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh have suffered fits, burning eyes, vomiting and some have even been falling unconscious with the illness.
It comes as the country still has the second highest coronavirus caseload in the world. Andhra Pradesh has been one of the worst-affected states with more than 800,000 recorded infections.
However the state’s health minister, Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas, said that the patients who have the mystery illness had all tested negative for coronavirus.
Seventy people have been discharged, while another 157 are still being treated in hospitals.
One doctor in Eluru told The Indian Express: ‘The people who fell sick, especially the children, suddenly started vomiting after complaining of burning eyes. Some of them fainted or suffered bouts of seizures’.
The state’s chief minister, Jaganmohan Reddy, said that special medical teams are being sent to Eluru to investigate the cause of the illness.
He has also visited a hospital in the town to meet the patients and their families.
Blood samples were taken from patients and no evidence of any viral infection was revealed, according to Mr Srinivas.
He said: ‘We ruled out water contamination or air pollution as the cause after officials visited the areas where people fell sick.
‘It is some mystery illness and only lab analysis will reveal what it is.’
However the opposition Telugu Desam Party has called for an inquiry into the illness.
They are insisting that water contamination was the cause of the mystery illness.