Chennai, Sep 26 (UNI) Allaying fears of hosteliers in the Stanley Medical College (SMC), following outbreak of a 'mysterious fever', the Tamil Nadu Government today clarified that ''it was not due to any unhygienic condition but only a normal viral fever''.
Talking to reporters here, Health Minister K K S S R Ramachandran said about 18 medicos were affected by the fever, of which three-- Karima Pradhan of Uttar Pradesh, Anusha Banerjee of Kolkata and Durgesh Prasad of Mumbai-- were admitted to a private hospital.
The rest were treated at the SMC Hospital.
Mr Ramachandran said the Ministry had alerted all the government medical colleges in the State to take all precautionary steps to prevent outbreak of any fever.
He said the condition of Karima Pradhan was critical and was put on ventilation. Her parents flew down from Uttar Pradesh and were by her side.
Explaining the situation, the Minister said she developed headache and fever on September 21 and had taken some medicines on her own. As she suddenly became unconscious she was admitted to the SMC from where she was later shifted to a super speciality hospital.
Doctors said that she had been suffering from urinary infection and the fever was due to that.
''Initially, we suspected it as bacterial encephalitis. Now it seems to be viral encephalitis, an air-borne disease. She is 'brain dead' at present and put on ventilation,'' he added.
The other two would be discharged in a day or two, he said and added that the remaining 15, who were being treated at SMC, were suffering from ordinary viral fever.
Of them seven were discharged, and another five students would be discharged today. The rest would be discharged either tomorrow or day after.
''There was no cause for any alarm,'' Mr Ramachandran said, adding that all steps were being taken to improve the sanitation.
First year medicos were being given leave to undertake some repair works in their hostels and they would be back in the next couple of days.
''Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has sanctioned Rs 100 crore for SMC of which Rs 25 crore will be used for constructing four hostel blocks after demolishing the old ones,'' he said.