At least 33 cases of encephalopathy – a brain disorder that causes excessive sleepiness, weakness and partial memory loss -- have been registered in the northern district of Esil since March, the Novosti Kazakhstana agency reported Tuesday.
“There is no infectious pathology… as proved by the samples we took,” the regional healthcare department said. It insisted that there was no epidemic in the area.
Earlier media reports said that those affected by the illness often fell asleep abruptly and continued sleeping for more than a day.
Officials said that more specialists from neighboring regions were heading to the two villages to carry out more tests.
The area is known as a former uranium mining site, which was sealed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Officials did not say whether there was any connection between the mines and the disease.