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Administrator Of Kazakh Village Stricken With Mysterious Ailment

KALACHI, Kazakhstan -- The governor of a Kazakh village in the northern Aqmola region has been hospitalized with what is being described as a mysterious "sleeping disease."

Local officials say the top administrator of Kalachi village, Asel Sadvakasova, was one of four residents taken to a hospital in the district capital of Esil on January 13.

The others hospitalized on January 13 were children.

All were diagnosed with "encephalopathy of an unknown origin."

Since March 2013, about 100 residents of Kalachi village have been hospitalized and undergone medical examinations after experiencing hallucinations and suffering from somnolence and memory loss.

Numerous tests at local clinics have failed to discover the cause of the ailment.

Many of Kalachi village's 680 residents fear the symptoms are related to an abandoned Soviet-era uranium mine nearby.

They are asking the government to relocate them.

Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister Berdibek Saparbaev said on January 13 that foreign medical institutions will be asked to help determine the cause of the ailment.

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