Twenty-four more cases of an undiagnosed illness were reported from Andhra Pradesh’s Eluru city on Wednesday, according to India today. With this, the total number of cases has now reached 593.

The new cases were registered in the city’s Tangelamoodi, Shankaramatham, East Street and West Street areas. Sixty-two medical teams have been deployed to handle the situation in the city.

Meanwhile, officials investigating the disease said that the excessive use of chlorine and bleaching powder for coronavirus sanitation drives may have contaminated the water, which in turn made people sick, The Indian Express reported.

Andhra Pradesh Health Minister A Krishna Srinivas told the newspaper that this is just one of the causes that the government is looking into.

A team comprising scientists and officials of the Eluru Municipal Corporation, health department and revenue department was formed to track the source of contamination of drinking water.

Experts from the Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the World Health Organisation, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology and other institutes have advised the state government to keep its focus on finding out the source of water contamination.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy held a video conference with the experts and officials on Wednesday, India Today reported.

Also read: Lead, nickel in blood samples could be cause of undiagnosed illness in Andhra Pradesh, find experts

On Tuesday, the Andhra Pradesh government had said that traces of nickel and lead found in the blood samples of patients were established to be the root cause of the undiagnosed disease. The blood samples were examined by a team of experts from AIIIMS Delhi.

The source of these particles, however, remains unknown. Another team from AIIMS, New Delhi, is examining the water and food samples to determine how the heavy metals crept in. Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, on the other hand, has sought stool and bile samples of the patients for a viral and bacteriological analysis. However, a comprehensive report on the causative agents that triggered the disease outbreak could come out only in about a week.

The disease has so far caused on death. People suddenly fell unconscious after suffering fits and nausea from the night of December 5. The symptoms included a bout of epilepsy, memory loss for a few minutes, anxiety, vomiting, headache and back pain.