12 dengue pa­tients in city show signs of chikun­gunya

THE IN­FEC­TION

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Sadaguru Pan­dit

MUMBAI: Twelve dengue pa­tients from the city are suf­fer­ing from an in­fec­tion from a virus mim­ick­ing chikun­gunya, a phenomenon which has killed at least 20 peo­ple in Delhi so far, said doc­tors.

The pa­tients have been kept un­der ob­ser­va­tion at the civi­crun Kas­turba Hos­pi­tal and their blood sam­ples will be sent to the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Virol­ogy (NIV), Pune, to iden­tify the strain mim­ick­ing the vec­tor­borne virus. The re­ports are ex­pected in four to five weeks.

The num­ber of chikun­gunya cases in the state has more than dou­bled between Jan­uary and Septem­ber this year, said of­fi­cials, adding 207 cases were re­ported last year. Of the 637 cases recorded in Ma­ha­rash­tra this year, 500 were from Pune city and Pune ru­ral ar­eas.

Dr Om Sri­vas­tava, head of in­fec­tious dis­eases cell, Jaslok hos­pi­tal, who works closely with the state vec­tor con­trol cell, said pa­tients at Kas­turba Hos­pi­tal have tested neg­a­tive for the DNA Poly­meraseChainRe­ac­tion(PCR) test, used as a di­ag­nos­tic tool for chikun­gunya. “The pa­tients suf­fer­ing from dengue have joint pain and fever, which are symp­toms of chikun­gunya in­fec­tion. But as the tests are neg­a­tive, we sus­pect it is a dif­fer­ent strain of virus which is mim­ick­ing chikun­gunya,” said Sri­vas­tava. “We can­not say Mumbai is un­der the twin at­tack of chikun­gunya and dengue, which in­creases the mor­tal­ity rate in pa­tients.”

The All In­dia In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sci­ences (AIIMS), Delhi, is treat­ing 112 peo­ple for chikun­gunya, 11 of whom have con­tracted dengue too. The num­ber of chikun­gunya cases reached 3,695 in the Cap­i­tal, data re­leased by mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions showed. They have recorded 1,692 cases of dengue so far.

“Aedes Ae­gypti mos­qui­toes spread both the viruses. The out­break of chikun­gunya is con­trolled as there are fewer cases of dengue,” said Dr Lalit Dar, a pro­fes­sor of mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy at AIIMS, Delhi.

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