ASTANA: A mysterious “sleeping illness” has gripped a small village in Kazakhstan, causing its sufferers to fall asleep for no apparent reason and stay so for days at a time.
More than 100 people have contracted the disease since the first case was recorded in the spring of 2013. Doctors and researchers have struggled to come up with any coherent explanation for the mysterious disorder, nicknamed the “sleeping illness” in Russian media.
Doctors have conducted as many as seven thousands test for the disease so far but they did not get any reasons of the disease.
The people of the village have been shifting to other area and government said that until May this year whole of the villagers will be shifted from the village to other area.
Sufferers of the illness fall asleep for no apparent reason and can stay asleep for days at a time if nobody wakes them.
Those victims of the illness randomly fall asleep. They do not know when it will strike. They may be driving a car, at work or at school. When they wake they often suffer hallucinations and memory loss.
Speculations about the roots of the disease abound, with theories including mass psychosis, poisoning, insect bites, alien invasion and the radioactive effects of an abandoned Soviet-era uranium mine in the area.
But researchers have found no trace of any anomalies, poisons or elevated radiation levels around the village, nor any abnormal test results in the sufferers — except for the fact that they just stay asleep, according to media reports.
The official name for the illness is “encephalopathy of unknown etiology” — or, in layman’s terms, a brain disorder that nobody can explain.