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Chikungunya, mystery fever grip Mumbai

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  • Chikungunya, mystery fever grip Mumbai


    Chikungunya, mystery fever grip Mumbai
    Jyoti Shelar / DNA
    Friday, February 12, 2010 0:28 IST

    Mumbai: Even as cases of chikungunya are on the rise in the city, doctors are puzzled over a new viral fever that mimics symptoms of chikungunya, measles and dengue. While several confirmed cases of chikungunya have been reported from private hospitals in South and Central Mumbai, there are more cases of this unknown fever. The symptoms of the fever and chikungunya are similar, except in the latter there is severe joint pain.

    A 27-year-old Vile Parle resident came to Bombay Hospital last week after her fever and excruciating joint pain persisted despite taking medicine for two weeks. Her doctor had been treating her for viral fever though she had chikungunya symptoms. That?s because her test came negative. Confirming the case, dean of Bombay Hospital, Dr S Jayaram said the hospital has treated two confirmed cases of chikungunya last week. ?In the past few weeks many patients have come with classic symptoms of chikungunya, but when tested they show up negative. Only two cases have come positive so far,? he said.

    He said the other patient was a 29-year-old woman from the western suburbs.

    Dr Hemant Thacker, who saw one confirmed case of chikungunya at Bhatia Hospital, and two at his clinic in Opera House last week, said, ?Besides chikungunya, many patients have been coming with fever and body rash. It looks like measles or dengue, but tests come negative.?

    Thacker, also a consultant physician at Jaslok Hospital, said they had been getting at least five to seven cases of this unknown viral fever every day.

    A general physician from Mazgaon, who is currently treating three confirmed chikungunya patients ? a woman from Byculla and two others from Wadala ? said, ?Many patients have severe joint pain and fever, but test negative for the virus.?

    Doctors say the unknown viral fever subsides after eight days. ?We have been unable to categorise the fever. It seems the virus is mutating rapidly,? said Jayaram.

    However, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation authorities have denied knowledge of any confirmed chikungunya cases. ?No cases of the viral fever have been reported to us so far,? said Dr Daksha Shah, head of epidemiology cell, BMC.

    BMC statistics do, however, state that nearly 1,266 cases of fever have been reported since February 1.

  • #2
    Re: Chikungunya, mystery fever grip Mumbai

    I wonder if they are testing for Ross River fever-like viruses. Tamil Nadu (elsewhere in India) believes it is detecting such agents in some of its chikungunya-type patients.