50 people looking for solar image of Mary lose sight

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1152984
50 people looking for solar image of Mary lose sight
 

   

Don Sebastian
   

                  
                  

Tuesday, February 26, 2008  08:55 IST

                  
 

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50 people looking for solar image of Mary lose sight

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
At least 50 people in Kottayam district have reportedly lost their
vision after gazing at the sun looking for an image of Virgin Mary.

Though
alarmed health authorities have installed a signboard to counter the
rumour that a solar image of Virgin Mary appeared to the believers,
curious onlookers, including foreign travellers, have been thronging
the venue of the ‘miracle’.

St Joseph’s ENT and Eye Hospital in
Kanjirappally alone has recorded 48 cases of vision loss due to
photochemical burns on the retina. “All our patients have similar
history and symptoms. The damage is to the macula, the most sensitive
part of retina. They have developed photochemical, not thermal, burns
after continuously gazing at the sun,” Dr Annamma James Isaac, the
hospital’s ophthalmologist, said.

The hospital has been receiving
patients with these abnormal symptoms since Friday. When the doctors
found a pattern in the case sheets, they reported it to the district
medical officer.

The health department has now put up a
signboard at the hotelier’s house near Erumeli, where the divine image
is said to have appeared, warning people against exposing their eyes to
sunlight.

Even the churches in the vicinity disowned the miracle
during Sunday mass after health officers and doctors approached the
clergy. The house in question has been the centre of local rumours for
a few months.  The hotelier, who has since moved to another house, had
claimed that statues of Mother Mary in his house have been crying honey
and bleeding oil and perfumes.

Though people have been flocking
to the “blessed land” – hastily christened Rosa Mystica Mountain – for
long, the mad rush for the image in the sky began a week ago.

There
are quite a few people still seeking the miracle, despite the
experiences of their unfortunate predecessors and strict health
warnings against gazing at the sun with the naked eye.

“The
patients show varying degrees of severity. They are mostly girls in
12-26 age group. Our youngest patient is 12 and the oldest 60. Most of
them were looking at the sun between 2 and 4 pm, when UV1 and UV2 rays
are harshest,” Dr James Isaac said. He added that they could identify
the problem as solar retinopathy because they were aware of the local
sensation.

“Most patients may hopefully improve their vision. But there may be long-term effects on the retina,” he added.

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About keithcoors_00

Yo soy yo. Creo que no hay otro. Crítico social. Terrícola por nacimiento y convicción (ésta última la más importante). Mexicano por accidente pero orgulloso de serlo. Escéptico, agnóstico, científico, cáustico, irónico, sarcástico, estocástico y otros calificativos esdrújulos Apariencia aparentemente engañosa, pero consistente. Promotor de proyectos de energía renovable.

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