ICMR warns India of ‘Cat Que Virus’ which could spread disease in the country

FILE PHOTO: A medical specialist wearing a protective suit collects a swab sample from a traveller who has returned from Da Nang, at a testing center for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hanoi, Vietnam August 10, 2020. REUTERS/Kham. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Sep 29, 2020, DNA. Even as the world is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) scientists have found another virus, the ‘Cat Que Virus,’ reported mainly in China, DNA India reported.

According to the report published by ICMR, the virus has the potential to spread diseases across India.

One of the arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), the CQV may cause febrile illnesses, meningitis, and paediatric encephalitis among humans.

Cat Que Virus reported in India?

National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune researchers found antibodies for the virus in two out of the 883 human serum samples which were taken from various Indian states, indicating that people at some point contracted the virus.

The two samples that tested positive for CQV antibodies came from Karnataka in 2014 and 2017.

During the course of the study, the virus was not found in human or animal samples.

The findings of the study were published in the latest issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR).

As per the ICMR study, Indian mosquitoes are susceptible to CQV, which could also become a public health pathogen.

Its natural host is a mosquito. Domestic pigs are the primary mammalian host of CQV and anti-CQV IgM and IgG antibodies have been reported in swine reared locally in China.

Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) have become a significant public health concern, with the emergence and re-emergence of arboviral diseases worldwide.

The presence of CQV in Culex mosquitoes in China and pigs in Vietnam suggested the susceptibility of Asian countries to CQV.

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