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Eastern UP hit by killer virus – Coxsacki

This virus has afflicted 487 children and has claimed the lives of 88 children in the Terai belt of the state. The disease has been recently named// as Acute Viral Encephalitic Syndrome (AVES) by the Union health and family welfare ministry.

Experts at the Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), under the guidance of professor in Microbiology department, Dr TN Dhole, had identified the virus that killed children in 12 districts of the State. They had conducted a fortnight-long study and laboratory tests of the samples of patients.

According to the director-general of Medical Health, Dr B Nath, the team from SGPGIMS had collected 33 samples in Gorakhpur for laboratory tests. Of the 33, 28 samples contained coxsackie-B virus and only 4 samples tested positive for Japanese Encephalitis.

Giving a detailed account, Dr. Dhole said that coxsackie virus is a variant of the enterovirus that caused polio.”The entero virus and its variants are present in the human intestine and are hyperactive in the first five years of life. There are two types of Coxsackie-B viruses — normal or less dangerous and severe or life threatening,” he added.

”The two can be differentiated through stool culture. While the first floats and participates actively in stool culture, the latter does not involve in the process at all” he said. Physical illness like paralysis can be caused by the normal form. While the other form causes severe inflammation of the brain and may lead to meningital and myocarditic reactions. If not treated on time, the person hit by the severe form of Coxsackie-B virus may die.

”We are still trying to figure the growth cycle of Coxsackie-B, how it affects human health, its cycle inside the body etc. But we are in a position to say that AVES is a water-borne disease and spreads to the fecoral route. This means that it is not caused by mosquitoes and undergoes man to man transmission,” he revealed.

In spite of this the state health department is being serious about it.

Dr B Nath said, “We will wait for the National Institute of Virology, Pune to confirm the SGPGI reports. Only then we will draw a strategy to meet the crisis.” ”The team is expected to visit several districts of eastern UP in the coming week,” e added.

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