Weird sleeping sickness devastating Kazakh village

Weird sleeping sickness devastating Kazakh village

The illness which sends people into a deep sleep without warning first struck four years ago, and is thought to have affected about a quarter of the population – about 160 people – at some time or another.

Known side effects include headaches and memory loss, but when MailOnline visited the village, which is about 250 miles from the border with Russia, residents were willing to reveal more of the horrendous effects of the disease.

Local women told us that when their husbands and boyfriends come round from the deep slumber, lasting from 12 hours to six days, they often awoke craving sex.

‘The doctors laugh and the nurses blush when they see our men,’ explained one Kalachi woman.

‘Other women were saying the same. As soon as men were were recovering after waking, they needed sex right there and then, and this feeling lasted for at least a month.’ …

There are other debilitating symptoms, including an inability to control the bladder. …

Some rant uncontrollably. Locals cite the example of one man, known for his impeccable manners, who cursed nurses as ‘whores’ and ‘prostitutes’ when he was suddenly struck down by the Kalachi drowsiness

Another man, apparently recovering, suddenly leapt out of bed, giving a Nazi salute to his doctors, greeting them with ‘Heil Hitler’, while a 60-year-old grandfather imagined he was a rooster, flapping his arms around and crowing. …

Children are affected in different ways: many have been overpowered by delirium, telling of seeing monsters, and extra eyes on their mothers’ foreheads.

One mother was told by her sick child that she had an elephant’s trunk, and Misha Plyukhin, 13, saw light bulbs and horses flying all around him. …

Officially, the most likely explanation is that leakages of radioactive gas radon from former uranium mines four miles away are behind the mystery condition, yet many are sceptical.

Kabdrashit Almagambetov, the district’s top doctor, seems genuinely puzzled about what caused this health hazard on his doorstep.

‘It all is very individual, depending on age, the patient’s health condition, what other chronic diseases they have suffered,’ he said.

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