A mysterious viral fever which causes a drop in platelet counts and has dengue-like symptoms is baffling doctors in Madhya Pradesh, officials said on Thursday.

The spread of the mysterious disease has become a cause of concern for the medical fraternity and for citizens. Doctors say that this unknown viral strain causes a steep fall in leukocyte and thrombocyte counts as well.

“This mysterious viral strain needs to be researched as it is making platelet and leukocyte counts plummet, though all test reports for dengue are coming negative,” Bhopal District Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Deepesh Verma told IANS.

Recently a team of doctors from Delhi also visited the state after the health department here wrote to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), requesting it to send a team of doctors to study this unidentified viral strain. The health authorities also requested help in diagnosing and treating this mysterious viral fever effectively.

However, guidelines are yet to come in from the team of doctors that visited the state last week, sources in the health directorate said. Things have reached such a point that private hospitals in the state capital have put up boards stating that beds are not available, a health official said.

“I have never seen an outbreak of this kind of disease in my medical career spanning more than three decades. While the number of dengue cases is increasing by the day, this new virus which is yet to be identified has made things more complex,” Yogesh Malhotra, a prominent city doctor, told IANS.

Health director Ashok Sharma said that cases related to the mysterious disease were constantly coming to light and samples of a few patients had also been sent to the NICD. “We are waiting for the reports to come,” he said.

“While dengue has already created panic among people, the outbreak of the new disease with dengue-like symptoms has further increased complications as even private hospitals are unable to arrange treatment facilities due to the spurt in the number of patients,” said Anil Gupta, a doctor and a director of a private nursing home.