Another Chinese virus could spread disease in India, ICMR flags concern

At a time when India is grappling with COVID-19, infecting more than 6 million people across the country, ICMR scientists have flagged presence of another Chinese virus. The virus called ‘Cat Que Virus’, has a “potential” to cause disease in India, scientists warn.

CQV can cause febrile illnesses, meningitis and paediatric encephalitis in humans, a IANS report says.

According to the seven researchers at the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology in Pune, the presence of Cat Que Virus in Culex mosquitoes and pigs has been reported in China and Vietnam.

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They added 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. The researchers said that the presence in Culex mosquitoes in China and pigs in Vietnam suggested susceptibility of Asian countries to CQV.

“Anti-CQV IgG antibody positivity in human serum samples tested and the replication capability of CQV in mosquitoes indicated a possible disease-causing potential of CQV in the Indian scenario. Screening of more human and swine serum samples using these assays is required as a proactive measure for understanding the prevalence of this neglected tropical virus,” research published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research in June stated.

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