Another wave of the so-called 'sleepy' disease has hit the village of Kalachi, Yesilsk district, Akmola region, Kazakhstan, head of the Yesilsk district demonstration Amanbek Kalzhanov said.
"The ninth wave of the disease has started. Two people, a man and a woman have contracted the disease. Treatment was given to them at the Krasnogorsk hospital. In all 120 people have fallen ill and given the recurrence of the disease the total number stands at 152," Kalzhanov said.
In general the situation in Kalachi is under control, he said, noting that a local hospital, the local administration, and a school in which around 40 pupils study are operational in the village.
Officials representatives of neighboring districts and even regions come to Kalachi to offer jobs and housing on their territories to local residents.
As of now around 100 out of 500 Kalachi resident have moved to other districts of the Akmola region, as well as other regions of Kazakhstan, Kalzhanov said.
"Work to resettle [local residents] has continued," he said.
Kalachi residents started to complain of drowsiness, loss of memory and hallucinations in March 2013. All of them were diagnosed with encephalopathy of an unknown origin.
Thousands of tests were carried out but the origin of the disease remained unidentified.
The village of Kalachi, which has a population of 680, is part of the Krasnogorsky rural district. It is located 600 meters from the former urban-type settlement of Krasnogorsk - which had a population of 6,500, most of whom were miners. Nowadays the town is called Krasnogorsky and its population has shrunk to 130. The town was operated by an ore mining department of the former Soviet Union and uranium ore was mined there from the 1960s to the 1990s. Uranium production there ceased in 1991-1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union. The mines were shut down and the land was reclaimed.
Yelena Zhavoronkova, a resident of the village of Kalachi, claims that the mysterious 'sleeping sickness' has affected her cat named Marquis. The cat turned aggressive, started pouncing on walls and the dog, and bit the woman. The animal kept behaving this way until 3 a.m., after which it suddenly fell asleep, Zhavoronkova, who earlier experienced several fits of the mysterious sickness herself, told. She said the cat is not reacting to any external stimuli and could not be woken up. As for people, more Kalachi residents have been hospitalized with 'sleeping sickness' symptoms lately.
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