Nature 12/11/19 Mystery of the village Kalachi: why its inhabitants fall into lethargy
In Esil district of Akmola region of Kazakhstan there is a small village Kalachi. It would be unremarkable if not for the mysterious mass illness that has befallen its residents in March 2013. Since then, scientists are trying to understand why people of different ages suddenly poured into the village for a period from two days to two weeks. The authors of numerous studies offer different explanations of the mysterious sleeping sickness.
these are the Rolls
Now the village of Kalachi and the adjacent urban-type settlement of Krasnogorsk are in disrepair for a number of reasons. But in the 60 years of the twentieth century there was already full of life. Thousands of Komsomol members came to the Kazakh steppe to explore new ground by order of the party and the Soviet government. The company was the miners began mining uranium ore discovered nearby field. Then came the restructuring, and once-unified country disintegrated. Many enterprises were unprofitable, and workers who have gone far.
the Journalist of the news Agency Lenta.ru Alexander Coppersmiths in January 2015, he wrote in his article, “Between dust and radon”: “From the 1960s up to 1990-ies of the last century near Krasnogorsk mined uranium ore, but after the collapse of the USSR mines were closed and abandoned. Today in Krasnogorsk is home to 130, and in Rolls of about 550 people.”
Since then, the number of residents in these two settlements declined. After the local revealed a strange sleeping sickness, the authorities began a program of massive relocation of people.For this purpose the government has allocated 152 million 297 thousand tenge (about 30 million rubles).
But not all people want to go to more prosperous cities and villages of the region. This was written in the article “Sleeping hand” journalist of “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” Yuri Snegiryov, who visited Kazakhstane in may 2015.
“One did not consider the officials that live in the Rolls mostly Russian virgin lands pioneers. And from the ground, where passed his youth, practically do not remove”, – the journalist noted.
Work in the village is almost no people survive through pensions and subsistence farming.
According to Yuri Snegirev, the first in a long unexplained sleep sank a 10-year-old boy Dylan, and it was back in 2010. Two days later the baby woke up, and in this case no one was paying attention. And when this happened with aunt Vera who lives on the other end of the village, the doctors decided that she had a stroke, but the diagnosis was not confirmed. The alarm sounded only in March 2013, when the disease has acquired a mass character.
a Saleswoman from the local market, older virgin lands pioneers, the students suddenly fell asleep. They were usually in 6-7 days and complained of feeling unwell. Some talked about the weakness, partial loss of memory and the fog in my head, the other happened visual hallucinations. Someone doctors even had to tie them to the bed, to being in polubedova state, a person is not a danger to himself.
the Last date of the outbreak of a strange disease was recorded by doctors in January 2016. During this time, the number of victims has exceeded 130 people. Some people fell into a long sleep several times.
Encephalopathy of unknown etiology
at First puzzled doctors Yesil district hospital allowed even the possibility of massive of alcohol or drugs residents of the village, but this version was not confirmed. Then people were examined for various infections and viruses, again nothing. Any inflammatory processes in the body and injury from falling asleep was not.
All affected residents of Kalachi and neighboring Krasnogorsk (and cases of the disease was recorded there) was preliminarily diagnosed with “encephalopathy of uncertain etiology”.
As we know from the medical literature, this is organic lesion of the brain, which cant to be caused by a variety of factors: from inherited to acquired. For example, this lack of b vitamins or various poisoning.
falling Asleep through the drip gave the substances stimulating the blood vessels of the brain, and patients woke up. Along the way, the doctors performed a full examination of all the victims.
the head of the National scientific medical center of Kazakhstan, Professor Abai Baygenzhin, commenting on this case in the media, said a whole bunch of different diseases, discovered the residents of the village Kalachi. Doctor of medical Sciences suggested that long sleep was caused by a combination of anemia, diabetes, atherosclerotic vascular lesions and other diseases. At the same time to provoke such a condition could have “some impact” to determine who should be experts.
the radon from uranium mines
of Course, in the first place, scientists suspect that the cause of the mass of sleeping sickness the inhabitants were flooded uranium mines and escaping out radon gas. Would come to the village employees of the National nuclear center of Kazakhstan and the representatives of the Semipalatinsk branch of the Kurchatov Institute. They drilled wells, took samples of water and soil.
Journalist Agency Lenta.ru Alexander Mednikov wrote: “during the investigation, the authorities conducted 200 measurements of gamma background areas and 100 measurements in a residential area. The value of the gamma background was 0,08-0,14 µsv/h (at a rate of 0,3 µsv/ h), that is two times less than the maximum allowable level. Measurements in residential buildings showed radon levels from 226 to 567 Bq/m3, at the norm of 200 Bq/m3.”
And even though high radiation in the Rolls is not found, many experts have accused a mysterious sleeping sickness that is radon. Among them the Professor of Tomsk Polytechnic University Leonid Rikhvanov, which suggested that the concentration of the gas, which filled the uranium mines, in the homes of the villagers depends on the season.
“And the gas rises to the surface, when changing the level of groundwater rises the spring or dropping in the fall. It is no coincidence that in the autumn the sickness among residents of Kalachi escalates,” shared Professor their findings with the journalist of “Komsomolskaya Pravda” Sophia of Sevostianova. Her article “Tomsk scientists have proposed a method of combating sleeping sickness in the Kalachi village” was published in January of 2015.
However, the version of radon there are opponents. They argue that a relatively small excess concentration of this gas in the homes of the villagers could not lead to such consequences. According to scientists, radon does not affect the Central nervous system of a person, although able to cause cancer with prolonged contact.
in addition, closed uranium mines scattered throughout Kazakhstan, and nowhere recorded cases strange sleeping sickness.
Then, many scientists, having redeemed radon, suspected all over the carbon monoxide. The correspondent of RIA Novosti Dmitry Vinogradov in his article “”Sleepy village”: Kazakhstan scientists close to unlocking the “mysteries of the century””, which was published in may of 2015, brought the opinion of Deputy Director General on radioecology, National nuclear center of Kazakhstan Sergey Lukashenko.
“In samples of the Cakes we found an increased content of carbon monoxide CO and hydrocarbons CH. The cause of “sleeping sickness” I would formulate so: the periodic inhalation of air with reduced oxygen concentration and increased concentration of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. Each of these three components separately is almost in the normal range… And when all three factors there is a classic synergistic effect,” suggested the scientist.
However, not all experts agreed with this version. They argued that in large cities the carbon monoxide in the atmosphere are much greater than in the homes of residents of the village Kalachi, where produced, because people are heated with coal. In addition, and in other localities use this fuel for heating homes, and mass sleeping sickness was never identified.
after Learning about the scientists of the National nuclear center, health workers have organized a spectrophotometric study of the blood of residents of Kalachi, but found no traces of toxic effect of carbon monoxide on their health.
When people do not understand the causes of a phenomenon, they begin to build different guesses. The most fantastic version of sleeping sickness occurred among such “experts.” Someone claimed that the Rolls is anomalous zone, where the aliens put their experiments on people. Someone was suspected of crimes secret experiments of Soviet scientists carried out in the uranium mines. Supposedly only a few decades the consequences of these scientific researches is reflected in the local inhabitants.
against this background, a much more plausible version of mass poisoning of people with insecticides that use local farmers. In particular, speech can go about the dust, it is still widely used to combat various pests of crops.
In an interview, “RG” Yuri Snegirev a resident of the village of Kalachi Natalia Barinas told that her son Rudy fell asleep twice. However, he strongly snored.
“Thank you, doctors. It’s scary! Well, imagine – what if he wakes up? And all the signs of poisoning. Vomited some foam brown” – shared details of a disturbed mother.
So the question about the cause of sleeping sickness is still open.
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