2 deaths due to KFD prompt Health officials in K'taka to review precautionary measures

05:00 PM Feb 04, 2024 | PTI |

Two people have succumbed to Kyasanur Forest Disease so far in Karnataka this year, prompting Health department officials to hold meetings and review the preparedness to tackle spread of the viral infection.


According to the Health department, the first death due to Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), commonly known as monkey fever was reported in Hosanagar taluk of Shivamogga district on January 8 wherein an 18-year-old girl succumbed to the virus. The second fatality was reported at Manipal in Udupi district when a 79-year-old man from Sringeri taluk in Chikkamagaluru died in a private hospital. So far, the state has witnessed 49 positive cases of monkey fever with a maximum of 34 cases being reported in Uttara Kannada district followed by 12 in Shivamogga and the remaining three in Chikkamagaluru district.

Amid an increase in the number of KFD cases and two deaths, Karnataka’s Health and Family Welfare Commissioner D Randeep on Saturday visited Shivamogga and held meetings with health officials from Uttara Kannada, Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru districts where cases of KFD have been reported, a senior Health official said. Randeep along with a team of senior officials from the state Health department reviewed the preparedness to tackle the spread of the viral infection. According to the state Health Commissioner, from January 1 this year, the Health department has collected 2,288 samples from the affected districts where cases of KFD were reported and of them, 48 have tested positive for the disease. ”We have taken all precautionary measures and are working in close coordination with the officials of the districts where cases of KFD has been reported to prevent its spread. As of now, there is no vaccination available for the disease, so we need to be extra cautious. Awareness is being created about the precautionary measures to be taken to tackle the infection from spreading further. The vaccination provided earlier was found ineffective. So, we have approached ICMR for the vaccination,” another senior health official said. According to Health officials, monkey fever spreads due to the bites of ticks that generally survive on monkeys. This tick bites humans which causes the infection. Humans also contract the disease by coming in contact with cattle bitten by ticks. The authorities are carrying out door-to-door awareness programmes about the precautions to be taken. Those living in and around the forest area need to be more careful as they are at high risk of contracting the disease, they said.


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