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| Last Updated:04/10/2017

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No Mutation of Dengue Virus: Experts (Source: The Hindu 18-07-2017)

                A high-level meeting of public health experts, virologists and epidemiologists here have called for strict adherence to dengue fever clinical management protocols to bring down the mortality rate and to organise intensified vector control measures to bring down the number of cases.

                  Virology experts pointed out that sequencing of the dengue virus isolated from serum samples in southern and northern districts had revealed that there were no signs of virus mutation, which might be linked to the increased severity or the high mortality profile of the dengue epidemic this season. While all four dengue virus types had been isolated, the predominant strain this season was DEN 1, which was isolated in about 45-55% of the samples. It was the same strain which had caused the 2009 epidemic in the State.

 

             Doctors from medical colleges pointed out that there was a wide variation in the clinical manifestations of dengue fever this season. While sources at Government Medical College Hospital here said that patients were going into hepatic failure and acute respiratory distress, the Kozhikode MCH said that they had innumerable patients with myocarditis. Doctors also pointed out that most deaths were unpredictable.

 

Vector intensity

 

           The experts said that it was the explosive levels of vector intensity which was being reflected in the huge number of infected patients.As case numbers go up, mortality profile would also go up.Also, a significant proportion of the population had several co-morbidities.

 

       The meeting of the heads of Medicine, Community Medicine and Microbiology Departments from all government medical colleges in the State and senior health officials, chaired by Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rajeev Sadanandan, was held on Monday to discuss the wide variations in clinical manifestations in dengue patients, as had been reported by treating doctors.

 

         They were joined by Ashutosh Biswas, Professor of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; Virendra Kumar, Professor of Paediatrics, Lady Harding Medical College, New Delhi; Ruchi Jain, epidemiologist from the National Centre for Disease Control; G. Arunkumar, the head of the Manipal Centre for Virus Research; and E. Sreekumar, senior scientist from the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology.