India is currently reporting a “mystery virus” in Pune:
Docs face 10 cases a day of patients displaying symptoms like chikungunya and dengue, but blood tests indicate new virus or dangerous mutation.
After 20 years of monitoring India, here is what we at DiseaseCast know:
- India is the #1 country in the world that uses words like “mystery” and hyperbole such as “panic” in their media reporting around what are usually routine disease outbreaks.
- We are in peak season for reporting of dengue and Chikungunya (and associated hyperbole) in India, from now until the end of December.
- Diagnostic confusion in India is common and most often is a misdiagnosis of a routine disease. In this case, it remains a high probability the outbreak in question is due to dengue or Chikungunya viruses. Both are endemic to India and therefore not a “mystery”.
The above said, there is a chance this is due to a relatively novel pathogen (from India’s perspective), which is Zika virus. Zika is capable of also causing fever, joint pain, and rash, as has been described in the above mentioned media report.
At present, the situation is less than an IDIS Cat 3, and the DiseaseCast team does not consider the event to be of significant concern.