Via The Times of India: Mystery viral onset worries medics. Excerpt:
GURUGRAM: Cases of chikungunya and dengue-like viral diseases have made a comeback in the city, despite the onset of winter. In the last 15 days, the top five private hospitals have witnessed 10 such cases.
Earlier, in September and October, several cases were reported in Gurgaon, where patients exhibited symptoms of these mosquito-borne diseases. However, medical tests did not confirm chikungunya or dengue. Loss of consciousness, unrelenting fever and vomiting are some of the common symptoms observed in these cases.
"We have reviewed a couple of cases in the last week. Even though we can't call it unusual, there is a need to know more about the unidentified virus," said Dr Amitabh Parti, additional director, internal medicine, Fortis Hospital.
Microbiologists suspect the virus genome might have got mutated to produce another unidentified strain. However, genesis of the new unidentified virus is yet to be found.
"Suddenly, we are again reporting similar cases. People need to take anti-mosquito measures as the unidentified virus has made a comeback," Dr Ekta Thakur, a city-based physician, told TOI.
However, Dr Rajesh Kumar of Paras Hospital said the likelihood of mosquitoes carrying the unidentified virus is not very high.
"We have reported about 5-10 such cases in the last month. It indicates the unidentified virus is probably not a vector-borne one, as weather conditions are not ideal for dengue and chikungunya mosquitoes to survive. I think this is the right time to conduct a study of this virus, to detect the cause of the fever, in a bid to take better preventive measures."
The winter cold typically reduces the mosquito population. Yet, dengue and chikungunya cases are still pouring in.
According to official figures, five chikungunya and four dengue cases were confirmed in November, while 35 suspected cases were also recorded in the city.
"It is a worrying trend as generally, dengue and chikungunya cases are not reported in November," Dr Thakur pointed out.