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ICMR warns of new virus dubbed Cat Que originating from China, here’s all you need to know

DH Web Desk, Sep 30 2020, 13:35 istupdated: Sep 30 2020, 15:42 istAs coronavirus rages across India, currently ranking second among the most affected nations in the world, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has warned of a new virus originating from China.Dubbed Cat Que virus, the Indian Journal of Medical Research said the virus is borne by arthropods, namely mosquitoes and insects. Pigs are said to be the primary hosts of the virus while a species of mosquitoes called Culex are the primary carriers.”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 in mosquito models,” ICMR experts said.Conducted by the ICMR-National Institute of Virology, the study found presence of antibodies against the Cat Que virus in two of the 833 human serum samples taken for antibody tests. The two human samples that were found to be positive, using indigenously developed tests, for the presence of anti-CQV IgG antibodies, were from Karnataka in 2014 and 2017.ICMR termed it as a ‘neglected virus at risk’ after repeated cases in some countries like China and Vietnam were found. Even though the study doesn’t say if the virus is dangerous, it does list high fever, meningitis and paediatric encephalitis as symptoms. The study also said that the virus has been found in wild mynas, pigs and mosquitoes which could trigger another pandemic-like situation if found dangerous. ICMR warned that presence of the antibodies in human serum samples show that all Cat Que virus cases need to be monitored closely to understand its circulation.

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