Health authorities for DNA study of mysterious disease in Panassa

A mother carries her child, suffering from a mysterious disease, in her lap in Panassa village of Reasi district.
A mother carries her child, suffering from a mysterious disease, in her lap in Panassa village of Reasi district.

Progressive muscular weakness not ruled out

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 27: The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Reasi has requested the Director Health Services Jammu (DHSJ) to conduct a DNA study on a group of individuals suffering from a “mysterious disease” in Panassa village of Reasi district.
The request followed a visit by CMO Reasi Dr Ravinder Manhas and his team, including Dr Ashok Kumar, DHO Reasi, to Panassa village to investigate the cause of the disease.
In his report, the CMO noted that patients from four different families were suffering from “progressive muscular weakness”, identifying six individuals as Mohammad Saleem (35), Ashaq Ali (21), Naseem Akhter (20), Arti Devi (11), Nargis (14) and Mehak (7).
“Clinical impressions suggest that all patients are suffering from muscular dystrophy and are at various stages of skeletal muscle weakness. All patients are currently on medication and possess physically handicapped certificates,” the CMO stated.
Consequently, he urged the DHSJ to dispatch a team to Panassa village for further DNA study of the victims. Click here to watch video
When asked if the disease had recently spread, the CMO clarified, “No, the patients have been suffering from this disease for quite some time.”
Addressing claims by some parents that their children had previously died from the disease, he acknowledged, “It could have happened.”

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Regarding the potential cause of the disease, the CMO suggested, “It appears that they are all suffering from progressive muscular weakness, which could be genetic. However, for a more in-depth analysis, we have requested the DHSJ to conduct a DNA study of the victims.”
Kaka Khan, father of one of the victims Naseem Akhter, shared his personal grief, revealing that three of his brothers had already died from the mysterious disease.
“It pains me to see my daughter sitting all day while other children play. We are poor and unable to understand the cause of this disease. The Government should send a team to conduct a thorough study of all those affected,” he pleaded.
Another mother recounted how her daughter Nargis was normal until fourth grade, after which her limbs began weakening, forcing her to leave school.
“Gradually, my younger daughter developed similar symptoms, and now my eldest son is also a victim of this mysterious disease,” she lamented.
According to her, the previous medical examinations had attributed her children’s conditions to “nervous issues.”
“There are over a dozen children in our village with similar symptoms,” she added, urging Health authorities to conduct a comprehensive study of all affected individuals.