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Mysterious Sleeping Sickness of Kalachi

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The Sleeping Sickness of Kalachi Kazakhstan


Imagine your loved one falls asleep in the middle of the day.

Now imagine they don't wake up for days. Some people reported to have slept for as long as six days.

This was the reality of almost fourteen percent of the population of several small towns around Kalachi, Kazakhstan since 2013. There were some early reports in 2010, but they went uninvestigated.


A thorough investigation was carried out trying to determine the cause. The soil, the water, the air, the wildlife, and the people were tested. The only thing significant was an elevated level of Carbon monoxide in SOME of the subjects.

Around 2015 scientists began pointing fingers at a closed down uranium mine that had been closed in the early 90's, stating that it must be leaking carbon monoxide into the small towns.

However, there are several problems with that theory.

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#1 - The mine was open from the 1960's through the 80's. Why did it take until 2013 to become a problem?

#2 - No elevated levels of carbon monoxide were detected within the derelict mine.


What could it be?

Could it be a limnic eruption?

An extreme case happened at Lake Nyos in 1986. The eruption caused a massive cloud of carbon monoxide that killed 1,746 people and 3,500 livestock.

What about a virus or bacteria?

Though they stated that African sleeping sickness, or African trypanosomiasis was not the cause, surely there are other virus' that have similar effects.

Without any definitive answers, the only answer has been to evacuate the sleepy towns. As of 2016 about a third of the people had moved away from the area and hundreds more were awaiting relocation.

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