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Rashmi Rekha Das

Panic has gripped the residents of Kandikiguda village in Koraput and Mathili block in Malkangiri district after 10 persons lost their lives in a span of 10 days due to an unknown disease. 

According to the locals, people suffering from the unknown disease complained of swelling on the hands, legs and face. They felt so weak that they became bed-ridden. After getting bed-ridden for 15 days, they succumbed to the disease. 

Koraput district witnessed two deaths a few days back and one more succumbed to the disease on Friday. 

The deceased was taken to Ramagiri hospital initially. As his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to Baipariguda hospital. Again doctor referred him to Koraput District Headquarters Hospital. However, he succumbed to the disease on his way to the hospital, revealed sources. 

The exact reason behind the deaths is yet to be ascertained. A team of doctors from Ramgiri reportedly reached the village to conduct examination. Also, a seven-member team will reach the village to take stock of the situation shortly, sources said.

Last year, the said disease had claimed six lives in Koraput alone. 

The residents of Mathili in Malkangiri district are also spending sleepless nights after the unknown disease claimed seven lives (including one on Saturday) in the last 10 days. 

Swelling hands and legs are the initial symptoms followed by fever leading to the deaths, said relatives of the victims. 

Meanwhile, a team of doctors has reached the village and started providing treatment to the ailing patients. 
Despite being affected by the disease, patients are declining to get treated at hospital because they have developed a misconception that getting treated at hospital will lead to death. 

Therefore, instead of getting treated at the hospital, the villagers are opting for treatment by village quacks which is further worsening their health conditions.

When contacted, health expert Narayan Mishra said, “In last few days many persons have got affected by the unknown disease in the two districts. After suffering from swollen legs and hands, they complained of fever before death. From this, we are sure that it’s not bacterial infection but viral infection. We have to provide supportive treatment. It is wrong to assume that people die after getting admitted to hospital. A person gets admitted to hospital only when his condition deteriorates.”

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