Mystery respiratory virus spreading in Hyderabad; know symptoms and prevention tips
The mystery virus may belong to the Adeno, Corona, Influenza or MERS family. All you want to know about symptoms and prevention.
An acute viral illness with symptoms similar to Swine Flu, influenza, and adeno virus is spreading in Hyderabad, affecting either children or adults with comorbid conditions. The virus is yet to be identified and many people who are testing for Swine Flu, Covid-19, or Influenza are getting negative reports. Experts, however, say there is no cause of alarm as the recovery rate of this mystery illness is 100% and patients are taking 5 days to recover, which is a normal recovery time for a viral infection. The symptoms range from runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, fever with body pain and difficulty in breathing. (Also read: Explainer: Everything you need to know about Swine flu)
“We have been seeing an acute febrile viral illness for the past 6-8 weeks now and we have observed coryzal symptoms in these patients. This virus has been affecting 6-7 out of 100 people, and 50% of them are children. This is because the immunity of the children is not fully developed. The other 50% of patients are adults with comorbid lung diseases like COPD (also called smoker’s asthma), Post TB and Covid-destroyed lungs and asthma," says Dr Syed Abdul Aleem, Consultant - Pulmonology CARE Hospitals, Musheerabad, Hyderabad.
Symptoms of the mystery virus
The symptoms of this mystery virus start with a runny nose, followed by a sore throat, dry cough, fever with body pain and difficulty in breathing. 1-2% of these patients have experienced respiratory failure.
"The symptoms affect the upper respiratory tract and gradually affect the lower respiratory tract as well. We have been running tests for influenza A and B, swine flu – H1N1, avian flu – H3N2 and dengue as well. We observed false positive results in 3-4% of these tests because the structural similarity of the mystery virus is very similar to these virus families," says Dr Syed.
"Fortunately, we are catching this early, and we are following symptomatic treatment where patients are responding well. We are treating patients with respiratory failure with Oseltamivir, an anti-viral drug and we are seeing good results. Along with treatment, we suggest maintaining hydration, and isolation as well until there is a complete recovery," says the expert
The precautions for this mystery virus are covering the nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing or using an N95 mask, keeping distance from people, sanitizing regularly, vaccinating against influenza and immediate isolation and approaching a healthcare professional for treatment.
What could be this mystery virus?
"This mystery virus may belong to the Adeno, Corona, Influenza or MERS family. So, we are suggesting a multiplex PCR panel of tests including Influenza A&B, H1N1, H3N2, and Covid RT-PCR," says Dr Syed.