Plague puzzle

Plague puzzle Confusion reigns among scientists over the identity of the epidemic that claimed over 60 lives in Surat and the Beed district recently, with medical experts changing their verdict from viral pneumonia to pneumonic plague and now averring that the disease was melioidosis.

And all along, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the country's premier institute for studying and controlling epidemics, has played an ambiguous role. Despite having collected the largest number of blood and serum samples, the institute is yet to identify the microorganism that let loose a nationwide scare.

Meanwhile, microbiologists from the National Institute of Virology in Pune claim that the causative bacterium has been isolated and identified as Pseudomonos pseudomallei. The bacillus causes an infectious disease known among epidemiologists as melioidosis.

Epidemiologists claim that the bacilli mimic and replicate the symptoms of infection by the plague bacilli Yersinia pestis. Any comments, NICD?

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