Monday, May 11, 2015

In Kazakh, mysterious illness sends hundreds of people into days-long slumbers

Imagine someone falling asleep as they walked along the street! Or in the midst of a conversation – at work or at the market!  People simply suddenly feel heavy, drowsy, and off they go into fairyland.  And they may remain unconscious for anything from a full day to nearly a week!
But this is not a Mr Beans story line. According to a report in the Telegraph, things have been like this for two years (since March 2013) for residents of the tiny village of Kalachi, in Kazakh.  Almost a quarter of the 600 residents have experienced this phenomenon one time or the other. And even animals such as cats and dogs are not exempted.
 “One moment you’re talking, the next you’re asleep,” said Lyubov Bilkova, who told Russia’s state-owned Vesti television station she had suffered no less than eight attacks of the mysterious “sleeping sickness.” “Sometimes you don’t sleep, but you look like you’re drunk.”
The Telegraphs reports that “While the disease has baffled doctors, locals say there are several common factors to the attacks. They tend to come in waves, they seem to be more common during a thaw than when the ground is frozen, and, say some, there is a correlation with wind direction.”  . Viral and bacterial tests have ruled out known diseases like African trypanosomiasis, which can have similar symptoms.
For now, residents are resigned to packing overnight bags whenever they leave their house in the case of eventualities.  “Everyone is afraid,” said Ms Bilkova. “Everyone is afraid of sleeping.”

No comments: