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Friday, November 4, 2011

India : Fear of unknown fever grips villagers

Via Times of India :

" Fear stalks the dusty, pot-holed lanes of Nilkanthapur - a poor village on the East and West Midnapore border, 170 km from Kolkata. A killer virus, that has taken half-a-dozen lives in the last three years, is back to torment the area and its poor inhabitants who have little access to proper healthcare. It could be the deadly Hanta virus or Korean haemorrhagic fever that has a 50% mortality rate, some experts fear.

Even though a confirmation is awaited from the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and the School of Tropical Medicine (STM) in Kolkata that had sent teams to collect blood samples from the affected area on Wednesday, the symptoms of the fever that has been striking villagers have been chillingly similar to that of Hanta virus. NIV and STM teams will visit the village on Friday.

Ten-year-old Sudip Jana and his neighbour Nayan Jana, 6, have had a narrow escape. The two young boys, in a critical state, had to be taken to the Institute of Child Health (ICH) in Kolkata for treatment. They have survived but still have a low fever that has kept their parents worried and neighbours in anxiety. While Sudip was released a fortnight back, Nayan returned from Kolkata on Thursday. Both are frail and can barely walk."

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