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Not coronavirus alone, ICMR warns of Cat Que Virus from China

With the fight against the coronavirus still under way, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has warned of another virus from China, called the Cat Que Virus (CQV). The virus has the potential to spread disease in India, said ICMR. The CQV can cause febrile illnesses, meningitis and paediatric encephalitis in people.

A team of seven researchers at the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology in Pune reported that the virus has been spotted in culex mosquitoes and pigs across China and Vietnam. As India is home to a similar species of culex mosquitoes, the ICMR has cautioned that it could pose a threat across the country.

The researchers discovered antibodies of CQV in two of the 883 human serum samples which were taken from various Indian states. This implies that these two people had been infected by the virus.  

However, during the course of study the virus was not found in any of the human or animal samples. Both the samples that were found to be positive for CQV antibodies came from Karnataka -one from 2014 and the other from 2017. The findings of the study were published in the latest issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR).

Read Also: No war, no peace status on China border, says IAF chief

The ICMR study said that due to the spread of similar species of the culex mosquitoes in India, there is a need to understand the replication kinetics of this virus in mosquito models. The data showed that Indian mosquitoes were susceptible to CQV. Presence of CQV antibodies in human serum samples and the reproducing capability of this virus in mosquitoes indicate a possible disease-causing potential of CQV in India.

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