The blood samples of the second suspected case of the Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), more commonly known as Congo fever, from the city has tested negative for the disease.
The samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. While the result of the first case was known on Saturday, the test report for Bhiwandi resident Sampat Jain, 48, was declared as negative for the virus on Sunday.
However, with the haemorrhagic fever already claiming three lives in Gujarat, state health officials will hold a meeting on Monday to decide if the authorities need to gear up to combat the disease.
Dr GT Ambe, executive health officer of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), confirmed that Jain’s reports were negative. However, Jain continues to be critical and is under observation at Kasturba Hospital, Chinchpokli.
Dr Pratik Samdhani of Jaslok Hospital where Jain was treated before being taken to Kasturba Hospital said the patient had tested negative for common illnesses such malaria, jaundice and dengue. “We thus suspected that he could be suffering from Congo fever and transferred him to Kasturba Hospital,” he said.
“Since Jain is still critical, NIV will carry out tests for other less-common viruses too. One of Jain’s relatives had suffered from fever. But now, he is fine,” Samdhani said.
With no confirmed cases of Congo fever, caused by close contact to livestock, in the city, health officials said there was no need to hit the panic button yet.
“We don’t feel any requirement to take any measures right away. For basics, we already have an isolation ward at Kasturba Hospital set up for swine flu patients. If there are any cases of Congo fever, we can isolate them there,” said Dr Ambe.
“On Monday, the officials may decide on whether we should take steps in the city against the virus,” said Bhushan Gagrani, secretary, public health department.
The civic body has already has sent out an advisory to all civic hospitals, to take adequate measures to check the spread of the fever.
The virus can be transmitted from animals to humans and has an incubation period of one to three days and a maximum of nine days.