A wave of the Kazakhstan sleeping disease has swarmed through the small village of Kalachi in northern Kazakhstan. According to Newsweek, this is the ninth wave of this sleeping illness to torment these villagers since March, 2013, with over 150 cases to date.
International Business Times states that the residents of the village very suddenly fall asleep, and are unable to be awakened. The victims of this sleeping disease will sleep for days and sometimes even weeks. Locals fear, as the disease continues to spread, that it could reach a point that one would go to sleep and never wake up.
Dr. Kabdrashit Almagambetov reports to International Business Times, “When the patient wakes up, he will remember nothing. The story is one and the same each time — weakness, slow reactions, then fast asleep. The sleep is so deep that some locals fear an old man they assumed was dead could have been buried alive.”
Local official Sergey Kulagin stated that the village, which was the former home to over 600 residents, is currently evacuating over the next two weeks. Kulagin tells RT that some residents have even decided to permanently relocate.
“Of the 218 families, 124 expressed a desire to relocate. Thirty-four families (95 people), including 27 children, have already left the village.”
Some of the sleeping illness symptoms include hallucinations, dizziness, nausea and memory loss. A female victim described her symptoms as weakness, and her legs felt like she was wearing 100 pairs of boots, and her head felt like it was spinning. RT also spoke to Igor Samusenko, whose son has the sleeping disease.
“If you try to wake him, it seems he wants to open his eyes – but can’t. He’s sleeping and sleeping.”
Numerous scientists and doctors in various fields of medicine and science have come to the village to do research in order to determine the cause for this mysterious illness, but no one has had any success.
Professor Leonid Rikhvanov from the Department of Geo-ecology and Geo-chemistry at the Tomsk Polytechnic University in Russia has been studying the area for four years, according to Newsweek, and is concerned about any long-term effects the victims may face.
Rikhvanov believes an old, abandoned Soviet uranium mine in the vicinity could be the culprit. It is possible that radon gas is being emitted, as he reveals to Newsweek.
“In my opinion, a gas factor is at work here. Radon could be operating as a narcotic substance or an anesthetic. Currently, the underground space of the mine is flooded and gases are being squeezed to the surface.”
Rikhvanov says it is very possible that the odorless, colorless radon gas could be poisoning the residents in the village.
“This gas, which causes toxic effects, pushes a person into a dreamlike state, and the person falls asleep.”
The fear is that if the radon is the cause and if it isn’t stopped, it could continue to spread to surrounding areas.
[Photo Credit: Newsweek.com]