BEIJING, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) - The virus that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently warned about originated in China. The name is Cat Que virus, abbreviated as CQV. Although there is a cat named, the virus has nothing to do with cats.
India is literally struggling with coronavirus. Since the start of the unlock phase, India has quickly risen to second place in the list of the highest number of infections, leaving the rest of the world behind. While the death rate is low in proportion to the rate at which the infection has increased, the death toll near one million is not very low.
A research team from the National Institute of Virology in Maharashtra has already alerted the center about the Cat Q virus (CQV). Details of the research have been published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research. NIV scientists say there is a possibility of a new virus spreading from China.
According to ICMR sources, the Cat Q virus is present in the mosquito Culex species. The virus has also been found in pigs in China and Vietnam. The ICMR-National Institute of Virology conducted the study between 2016 and 2017 with the prior approval of the Institutional Ethics Committee.
Scientists from ICMR Pune conducted experiments on 63 people across the state. Antibodies to the Cat Q virus were found in the bodies of the two. Both the victims were from Karnataka. CQV antibodies were found in their bodies in 2014 and 2016. The researchers said that at some point in time, they were infected with CQV. Getting CQV in these two samples means that the disease is likely to spread in India as well.
ICMR experts say they are trying to understand the replication of the virus in mosquitoes, as there are similar species of Culex mosquitoes in India, such as China. That's why more samples need to be collected and tested now, the ICMR said.
Meanwhile, between July 2006 and 2008, a team of scientists from the United States and China began experimenting with the new virus by collecting mosquito samples from pig farms in Bajhang and Longchang Counties in eastern Sichuan. Pig serum is also sampled. The details of the research team's research were not known though.