An alert has been sounded in Assam over a suspected outbreak of Kala Azar or black fever, a vector-borne disease.
Eleven patients who are suspected to have contacted the disease, are undergoing treatment at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital for the last three days. The patients hail from the tribal-dominated Bonda area of Chandrapur block on the outskirts of Guwahati.
Experts from the Guwahati Medical College and the Vector-borne Disease Control Unit of the State Health Services have examined the patients, but yet to confirm symptoms of the disease.
Medical experts from the Regional Medical Research Council in Dibrugarh have been sent to Guwahati to initiate preventive measures.
Black fever is a deadly disease transmitted via the bite of an infected sand fly. It usually develops over several months or years.
The general symptoms of black fever are persistent fever, fatigue and weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea and enlarged spleen, besides weight and appetite loss.
Kala Azar also increases the risk of other secondary infections.
'Unless diagnosed early and treated before the immune system is damaged, the disease could be fatal. The common mistake made by doctors is that such cases are generally presumed to be malaria and hence the danger,' medical sources said.