Do you know about “Cat Dance Disease” (Minamata disease)

by Peter Barnes
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Minamata disease – At first, people begin to feel that it is difficult to touch things with their hands as they used to. Meanwhile, the cats in their living areas are die in a strange manner, behaving like they are dancing. Dogs as well as pigs are starting to behave strangely. It all happens quietly and without anyone noticing. Even the birds are starting to die.

As this situation progresses to the point where it is difficult for some people to button up their shirts, there are a few who are a little curious.

As the first patient, on April 21, 1956, a five year old girl was admitted to the Chisso’s factory hospital in Minamata with difficulty walking and talking. Two days later, her sister and a child from a neighboring house were hospitalized with similar symptoms.

minamata disease
Chisso Factory in Minamata ( Photo – Japan Times)

If we talk about the Chisso factory that owns this hospital, it was started in the year 1908 under the name of Chisso Corporation and added great value to the Minamata area. It’s so valuable to the city that it is able to contribute half of the city’s tax revenue and complete a quarter of its employment. I’m not talking about present – day Japan. They see it as an asset to the city.

On May 1, it was reported as an unknown disease of the central nervous system. Numbness of the limbs, muscle weakness, loss of vision, hearing and speech, followed by insanity, coma and death. Doctors who do not understand how the disease spreads and do not understand how to resort to actions such as disinfection and quarantine. Several families where patients were first reported, and later Minamata, are also marginalized.

minamata disease
Photo – Japan Times

Subsequent investigations will uncover the root cause of this tragedy. Experiments show that the Chisso factory directs their waste directly to the Minamata Sea and that the mercury levels of marine organisms, such as fish and crabs, are very high.

And then the worst part of this starts. The factory continues to deceive people. The committee appointed to investigate the matter is biased in the face of the money and power of the factory. But due to the ongoing impact and fast spreading, factory had to pay compensation those who suffered from Minamata disease latterly. Here the factory follows a very subtle method. A system is being set up for those who want to get compensation to register. But even then, many people do not complain about the social stigma attached to this disease.

At the same time, they deceive the people as well as the administration that they have devised a method to clean up the industrial waste. A politician drinks a glass of purified water and showed public to there is no issue of this water. But the Japanese government and health department are able to control the spread of the disease through things like banning fishing in the Gulf of Minamata.

minamata disease
Photo – World Atlas

However, a recent study in March 2001 found that 2,265 people were officially infected with Minamata, of which 1,784 had died. Later, with the Japanese awakening, government authorities did not allow this factory to escape easily. The factory was ordered to pay millions of compensations for more than Ten Thousand of identified peoples and many of unidentified people.

But the Minamata epidemic will continue to affect new births for generations. Even now a similar incident has caused controversy. That is Covid 19. These days we are all trapped in homes because of this epidemic situation. That’s why Shutterbulky make you aware of Minamata disease or Dancing Cat disease.

Note

A movie called Minamata has been released in the year 2020. People who interest about more details, you can watch it also.

Minamata disease
Photo – Pinterest

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