The mysterious deaths of three persons, including a doctor and a nurse in Ahmedabad, created panic among the medical fraternity, causing concern to the Gujarat government.

The deaths caused by a hitherto unknown virus had been identified and the State government formed a team of experts headed by Dr. Kamlesh Upadhyaya to take charge of the matter and identify the presence of the virus to take the necessary remedial measures.

According to the Health Minister, Jaynarayan Vyas, the samples of the deceased sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, had identified the virus as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF).

It all started when a woman named Shamima from Kolat village of Sanand taluka in Ahmedabad district was admitted in a private hospital in Ahmedabad after she was reported suffering from a mysterious fever in January first week. The patient subsequently died and there was consternation in medical circles when the consulting doctor who had examined the patient, Gagan, also passed away with similar symptoms, and so did the nurse, Asha John, who had attended on Shamima in the hospital.

‘Not taking chances'

Mr. Vyas said the State government was not taking chances and a team of experts had been constituted to take charge of the situation. “Survey teams have fanned out in a five km area of Kolat village to carry out door-to-door check,” he said.

A team from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Delhi, is expected here in the next couple of days to conduct a study. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation health authorities said random sampling was being conducted in various city hospitals to check the presence of the virus among any other patient.