Indore: District health department on Monday heaved a sigh of relief after all the five samples of suspected Zika virus affected patients were tested negative, with no fresh cases of H1N1 and chikungunya reported in city on the day. However, the relief remained short lived, as 12 fresh dengue cases have been reported in the city on the day, with number of patients suffering from the ‘unknown’ viral disease witnessing a steady increase, sending the authority again into serious tizzy.

“It is good news for us that the virus is not Zika. However, we will send more samples of suspected Zika patients for laboratory testing to confirm the scenario and this will also provide relief to the people scared of the deadly virus,” said nodal officer of Integrated Diseases Surveillance Programme (IDSP), Dr Asha Pandit.

Expressing her unhappiness over delay in receiving test reports of suspected patients from lab, she said “Patients suspected of swine flu, chikungunya or dengue are getting their reports in hand at least five to six days after submitting their medical samples, delaying in targeted treatment of the disease. There are even cases, where patients have received their test reports after being discharged from hospitals in healthy condition.” “Now we are getting test report of the samples, which had been sent about a week ago,” she added.

According to Pandit, the department has so far sent as many as 493 samples of suspected H1N1 patients, out of which 129 have been tested positive, with the deadly virus claiming 37 lives in city. Meanwhile, as many as nine patients affected by the ‘unknown’ virus, including six in critical condition, have been admitted in different hospitals of the city.

Talking about the mysterious virus that has started taking quite a toll on citizens, Dr Pandit said “We believe the disease might be a variant of chikungunya or the structure of any vector-borne disease is changed to become a new variant.”

With the increasing number of patients suffering from fever and joint pain due to the unknown virus, health department officials are mulling to send medical samples of the suspected patients to laboratory in Pune to ascertain the disease and take necessary action to prevent rapid outbreak.

Act against people found with dengue larvae in their properties: Collector

Concerned over increasing number of patients hit by vector-borne diseases in city, collector Nishant Warvade has directed officials of Indore Municipal Corporation and health department to take strict action against people, in whose compound dengue larvae is found. “Along with spreading awareness among people, IMC officials should also take action against people who are not taking the call seriously and dengue larvae is generating at their place,” Warvade said officials in a meeting held here on Monday.