Even as a team of experts from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Delhi, held on-the-spot study of the situation, Gujarat government officials have heaved a sigh of relief with all the 70-odd samples send to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, having tested negative for the rare Crimean-Congo Hae.

The State government officials were under pressure after three deaths, including that of a doctor and a nurse, under mysterious circumstances earlier this week. The NIV identified the mystery virus as the very rare Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), which was found in Pakistan in 2009 and seen for the first time in India.

Almost the entire village of Kolat — from where the first patient, Ameena Momin, was admitted in a private hospital in Ahmedabad — was quarantined. The government was under pressure as the doctor and nurse who had attended on Ameena in the hospital, also died a few days later with similar symptoms.

About 70 samples of blood and saliva were collected from in Kolat villagers as well as some staff-members of the private hospital where Ameena was admitted, and sent to the Pune institute. The Health Minister, Jaynarayan Vyas, said here on Thursday that the report from the NIV had been received by the State government and all the samples were found negative for CCHF.Mr. Vyas said that of the four persons suspected to be suffering from CCHF, including the close family-members of Ameena, one had tested negative, and this had further strengthening strengthened the government's belief that the virus had not spread uncontrollably in the region. “We are, however, not letting our guard down and teams are still surveying the environs besides checking almost all hospitals in of the State to ascertain things for ourselves,” Mr. Vyas said. He said all the hospitals had been asked to initiate steps to create isolation wards at a very short notice, should such a need arise.

At least 30 teams of doctors and about 15 teams of veterinary surgeons are camping in Kolat and surrounding villages but the official sources said not a single suspected case of the CCHF virus had been found either among people the human beings or the domesticated animals, which are believed to be the carriers of the dreaded virus. Official sources also said described the condition of Ameena's husband and some other members of the family, who had earlier shown similar symptoms, was as stable and improving.


‘No new cases of Congo virus'January 21, 2011