Ahmedabad: As many as 17 persons have died
after being infected with the Chandipura virus or Chandipura
Encephalitis, while 29 cases have been detected from Vadodara,
Panchmahal and Kheda districts of the state, health officials
said here today.
The deaths have occurred in a span of over two months
after the first case was reported from Kheda district, they
said, adding that children in pediatric age are more prone to
be infected by the virus.
According to the officials, Chandipura Virus spreads
through pest called sandfly which reproduces in cracks of
The primary symptoms include loose motions, vomiting with
high grade for short duration followed by convulsions which
could lead to unconsciousness, they said, adding that high
fever could affect the brain also.
Health officials said they were closely working with the
experts of National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune and the
National Institute of Communicable Diseases.
As a precautionary measure the areas from where the cases
have been detected, have been put under surveillance to find
out if more persons are infected.
Insecticides are being sprayed by the Malaria control
department to curb the growth of the sandflies which grow in
mud houses plastered with cow-dung in the rural areas,
officials said. In Gujarat, Chandipura virus was first found in 2004
in the tribal area of Chotaudaipur in Vadodara district.
However, the first virus was discovered by the
National Institute of Virology (NIV) in 1965 from a serum
sample of a patient collected during an outbreak of febrile
illness in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
The virus was not assigned any public health
importance until 2003, when there was a large encephalitis
outbreak in children in many districts of Andhra Pradesh and