At a time when India is still grappling with the novel coronavirus pandemic that started in China’s Wuhan, scientists have warned of another virus from China that has the potential to spread diseases in India. Scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have found that the ‘cat que virus’ (CQV), which has infected several in China, may cause diseases such as febrile illnesses, meningitis, and paediatric encephalitis in India too. The CQV is arthropod-borne viruses or arboviruses. China and Vietnam have reported the presence of CQV inside culex mosquitoes and pigs. Data has revealed that Indian mosquitoes, namely, aegypti, Cx. quinquefasciatus, and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus, are susceptible to the CQV. Swines are the primary mammalian host of the CQV.
Scientists at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune have found the presence of the antibodies for the CQV in two out of 883 human serum samples that were collected across India. This means that those two people had contracted the infection at some point in time; this has raised fear of the CQV spread in the country. The two samples where CQV anti-bodies were found were from Karnataka; one was from 2014, the other from 2017.