Sunday, January 23, 2011

Congo fever: No need to press panic button, says National Institute of Virology

Published: Sunday, Jan 23, 2011, 13:03 IST

The National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, flooded with serum samples from across states after the outbreak of Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Gujarat, said there is no need to panic as all the samples have tested negative.

The serum and nasal sample that was received from Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai, of a 48-year-old resident of Thane, who is currently under treatment there, also tested negative, the NIV stated on Saturday. The patient has clinical symptoms similar to that of CCHF and is critical.

NIV director, Dr AC Mishra, told DNA that all samples, except those from Gujarat, have tested negative. “There is a lot of panic due to this outbreak, but there is no cause for concern as all the samples have tested negative so far. Together with NIV, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Union health ministry are monitoring the situation.”

He said the virus has been reported for the first time in humans in India. CCHF
is commonly seen in animals, but has a very high rate of severity and almost
90% mortality

Dr DV Barathe, medical superintendent of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC)-run Naidu (infectious diseases) Hospital, told DNA they are ready to handle any emergency and the hospital’s preparedness was review by the PMC’s chief of health department, Dr RR Pardeshi, on Friday.

Pardeshi said, “The control room that was established for H1N1 will be activated again as a precautionary measure.”

The health chief suggested that butchers, cattle, sheep and goats owners, who fall in the high-risk group, take precautions in case they find a tick on their animals or pets.

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