Pigs tested positive for JE may not be from MP, say officials

Say the city is not disease endemic

By Sonal Matharu
Published: Wednesday 05 January 2011

The blood samples of the pigs collected from Delhi slaughterhouses that tested positive for Japanese Encephalitis (JE) virus may not be from Indore in Madhya Pradesh, says Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

Delhi reported 14 cases of JE last year. To trace the deadly virus, which is found in pigs and is transmitted to humans through mosquitoes, MCD tested new 83 blood samples of pigs in December. But only three of these have tested positive for the virus. This is the third time MCD is testing blood samples of pigs to find out how the JE strain reached Delhi.

However, the municipal body is not confident the pigs are from Indore as the city is not JE endemic. “The owners of the slaughterhouses in Delhi told us that they brought the pigs from Indore but there is no way to establish if they are telling the truth. Even if they are telling the truth, we cannot say which region of Indore these pigs were picked from,” says V K Monga, chairperson, MCD health committee.

As a preventive measure the MCD will talk to the public health authorities in Indore and ask them to be vigilant. At the same time, they are investigating how the pigs got infected with the virus.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government is awaiting an official report of the samples tested from MCD. The report of the tests has still not reached us. It is premature to say where the samples testing positive are from. We are still investigating the matter,” says R P Vashist, directorate of health services, Delhi government.

The pig rearing and slaughterhouses in Delhi are unorganised. Once identified these will be moved to the outskirts of the city away from human habitation, adds Monga.

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