- Issues related to health.
What to study?
For prelims and mains: About the virus, symptoms, effects and prevention.
Context: Chandipura virus detected in Gujarat.
What is it?
Named after the Maharashtra village where the virus was first discovered, the likely vector (carrier) of the virus is the female phlebotomine sandfly. It has been detected in sand flies in Senegal and Nigeria, apart from India. The virus is known to cause inflammation of the brain, and progresses rapidly from an influenza-like illness to coma and death.
Chandipura virus (CHPV) belongs to the Rhabdoviridae family in the order Mononegavirales of the genus Vesiculovirus. Interestingly, its continuing mutating trend has enhanced its lethality to cause human infections, unlike its genetic cousin, the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV).
- Sudden high fever accompanied by headaches and altered consciousness.
- Vomiting and nausea.
The virus predominantly infects children between the ages of 2-16, spreading through the bite of a sandfly, and in some cases, even the mosquito during the monsoon and pre-monsoon season.
It is distantly related to the virus that causes rabies and is known to have a case fatality between 55-75 per cent.
Sources: the Hindu.