New Delhi: 17 blood samples collected from pigs by the MCD have tested positive for Japanese Encephalites virus, sparking concern among the civic authority that the microbe may have spread in the Capital.
V K Monga, Chairman of the MCD health committee said, the civic body has decided to send another 100 samples for testing after these results.
"It is alarming as 17 of the 81 blood samples collected from slaughtered pigs here have tested positive for JE virus.
Eight of these 17 samples were collected from pigs in Civil Line area, six from Shahdara South and three from Sadar Paharganj zone," he said.
A viral disease which is common in the neighbouring states, Japanese Encephalitis surfaced for the first time in the city after four people tested positive in the month of October. A total of 14 people have tested positive for the virus till now.
The Delhi government had ordered screening of pigs to detect the presence of JE virus, as these animals were the amplifying hosts for the disease, but no samples had tested positive during the last two rounds.
"We have to become more stringent in checking for mosquito breeding as they transmit this disease from infected pigs to human. Earlier, we were clueless about the origin of the disease but now that the infected pigs are the medium, we have to become more careful to check for the spread of the disease.
We have decided to send another 100 samples to the lab for testing," Monga said.
All the 81 samples were sent to National Research Centre for Equines at Hisar in Haryana for testing on November 27.
Monga said, "We are yet to find whether these pigs that tested positive were reared in Delhi or were brought from outside states. In case of the latter, we will have to stop stop entry of pigs from outside Delhi."