The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Friday identified the strains of dengue infecting the Capital’s population as being severe, one of which has rarely been isolated before.
The identification of the strains — serotype 2 and 4 — is expected to help experts in understanding the disease pattern. Though the strains are known to have severe disease manifestations, doctors in the city said they are prepared to handle the disease.
“Strains two and four are the bad ones but, fortunately, clinically we aren’t seeing too many complications. Not many people require hospitalisation, and recover on their own on an OPD basis,” said Dr Rommel Tickoo, senior consultant, department of internal medicine, Max Healthcare.
However, the elderly, children and those with an underlying medical condition should be careful, he added.
An official statement from AIIMS said, “The virology laboratory of the department of microbiology has already generated preliminary data on the serotypes of dengue virus circulating in Delhi during this ongoing season. This appears to be a co-circulation of serotypes 2 and 4 this year.”
“This is based on preliminary data from the first lot of nine acute phase serum samples of suspected cases… While serotype 2 was the predominant serotype in circulation during the last two years also, serotype 4 has been isolated very rarely in previous years,” the statement further read.
According to the experts, identifying the serotype helps in knowing the overall disease pattern. “This is primarily for the doctors and academics to help understand which virus is circulating,” said a senior researcher in the union ministry of health and family welfare, requesting anonymity.
“Usually, virus type 2 and 4 are known to have more severe disease manifestations and the remaining two are less severe,” the researcher said. The AIIMS’ virology laboratory is an apex laboratory for the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme for dengue and chikungunya.