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Sleep syndrome update: two more cases

20 february 2014, 21:03
0
Photo © Yaroslav Radlovsky
Photo © Yaroslav Radlovsky
Two more people have been hospitalized at Kalachi village with sleep syndrome symptoms, Tengrinews reports citing Interfax-Kazakhstan.

On February 20, a 53 y.o man and a 33 y.o woman were hospitalized to the Esil District Hospital. The new cases of sleep syndrome have a mild form: while patients are feeling dizzy and sleepy they have no hallucinations and loss of memory.

Both patients were admitted to the therapeutic department of the hospital with encephalopathy of unclear origin, said Doctor Kabrashyt Almagambetov. The symptomes started showing during warmer days.

Initially, cases of sleep syndrome were registered in Spring of 2013. 10 villagers aged 14 to 70 were hospitalised with drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, loss of coordination and partial loss of memory. Later in January 2014 more residents of the village complained about sleepiness.

Repeated tests of samples of food, air, water and various environmental agents have been made, but have given no answers. There has been a version that the symptoms may be related to uranium mines located some distance away from the village. The mines were closed back in the 1990s and doctors from the Esil District Hospital say that none of the Krasnogorsk villagers who used to work in the miner have shown any sleep syndrome. The Krasnagorks village is situated much closer to the old uranium mines. Whereas the villagers who have the symptoms have never been employed in the uranium mining.

Scientists from Semey and Eastern Kazakhstan oblast Radiology and Ecology Research Centers and the Karaganda Hygiene and Occupational Diseases Research Center are still struggling to explain what is causing the syndrome. So far they have identified only one clear pattern. The symptoms manifest themselves only during thawing weather and sudden warnings. This doesn't help much, though.

Kazakhstan has no specialised laboratory that could help the research and the local scientists want to turn to their counterparts from the Tomsk Polytechnical University in Russia.

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