At least eight security persons, guarding the EVM Strong Room at MGC College in Bondel, fell sick over the past week, leading Health Department officials to conduct blood tests on Sunday to rule out malaria.

While the first of the tests conducted on Thursday indicated no malaria, health officials believed the fevers among CISF and District Armed Reserve personnel were linked to a viral infection due to the changing climate and persistent rains.

Arun Kumar, District Officer, Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, said the area was fumigated — to kill breeding sites — four days ago, and breeding sites had not been found in the vicinity.

“The first smear tests were negative for malaria. This was a precautionary test, but there are indications the illnesses may not be malaria,” he said.

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