Indian Council of Medical Research Director General V. M. Katoch has said that “clinical features” of the current fever cases in south Tamil Nadu were different from the usual chikungunya or dengue.
“Tamil Nadu is on top priority of ICMR right now…I will organise a meeting in a few days either in Chennai or New Delhi to discuss this report on a new type of fever,” Dr. Katoch told The Hindu over phone from New Delhi on Sunday.
Dr. Katoch said that he had a discussion with State Director of Public Health S. Elango in Chennai on Saturday and “at that time he told me that the present fever involved multi-organ [infections] and had to be investigated thoroughly.”
“We will see once again if there is any multi-organ involvement in this type of fever. After gathering more evidence, the ICMR will come out with recommendations for the doctors,” he said. Dr. Elango had alerted the ICMR that some patients had become diabetic after they were infected with the fever and also had changes in their blood pressure level.
“Normally, any viral disease will aggravate the diabetes levels. It has to be investigated properly based on the information from Health Department reports in Tamil Nadu,” Dr. Katoch said. Scientists/entomologists from the Centre for Research in Medical Entomology in Madurai and the National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, have been pressed in to service to analyse the fever cases.
Meanwhile, the State health authorities are preparing to submit at the earliest a report on the changes noticed in some of the people who had the chikungunya-type fever in recent months.
Requesting the ICMR to see if it could come up with an allopathic drug for the new type of fever that resulted in acute joint pain, Dr. Elango said that there was a concern because “some changes were observed in affected persons. Endocrine glands seemed to be affected.”
“From Tamil Nadu, I have requested the ICMR chief to study the fever and see if any mutated virus is causing this type of fever. Since there are multiple types of fever at the same time in different places, a scientific probe is essential,” Dr. Elango said when contacted.