All 4 Dengue Variants Traced in Hyderabad, Doctors Worry about New Potent Virus
Viruses are known to exchange genetic material. Since all the four strains of dengue virus are in co-circulation, the doctors expect a higher risk of emergence of newer potent variants.
Image for representation.
The number of dengue cases has been on a constant rise in Hyderabad, with no respite for the city folks and resident doctors. Dengue, a mosquito-borne disease, it caused by the bite of infected Aedes mosquito. Dengue infections are usually caused by four closely related viruses named DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. These four virus variants are called serotypes because each has different interactions with the antibodies in human blood serum.
As all the four variants of dengue virus have been traced in the reported dengue cases in Hyderabad, the city doctors have called for molecular monitoring of dengue. Viruses are known to exchange genetic material. Since all the four strains of dengue virus are in co-circulation, the doctors expect a higher risk of emergence of newer potent variants.
This fear also becomes important, as, in the last three years, new variant of dengue virus has already emerged with a new serotype. The possibility of another potent variant has kept the doctors on alert.
Talking to the Times of India, Dr Suneetha Narredddy, consultant (infectious diseases), Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, said, “There is high number of severe dengue cases in Hyderabad. The problem is found to be more severe in primary infections, particularly in dengue variant-2 virus (Denv-2). There is a simultaneous circulation of all four variants of the virus. This makes the virus hyperendemic.”
She also added that the variants found in Hyderabad are severe in nature and can cause high fever. Meanwhile, a team of doctors at Gandhi medical college and hospital has found co-infection of dengue, chikungunya and salmonella (typhoid) in patients.
The doctors also said that in the last three years, researchers have traced the evolution of a new strain, clade D of dengue virus type 4. Doctors also warn that the presence of all four variants of dengue can make the situation worse, causing a secondary infection. As of now, the dengue virus-4 has emerged as the most potent of the four variants.
Senior physician Dr Syamala Aiyanger also explained that during an epidemic, various strains of dengue virus can co-exist and circulate. While a human body can make up lifelong immunity against one strain, the immunity against other strains can be brief. Therefore, a person infected with one variant remains vulnerable to other variants all his life.
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