ICMR has agreed to develop new vaccine for monkey fever: Health minister Dinesh Gundu Rao

08:03 PM Feb 10, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Udupi: Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao disclosed that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has agreed on the manufacturing of a new vaccine for monkey fever (Kyasanur Forest Disease or KFD).


Addressing reporters after a meeting with health officials in Udupi on Saturday, Minister Gundu Rao underscored the imminent threat posed by monkey fever, particularly during the onset and conclusion of the rainy season. He urged everyone to be vigilant until March and to seek medical treatment promptly upon exhibiting symptoms.

Highlighting governmental efforts, the minister revealed plans to allocate funds from the Ayushman Bharat- Arogya Karnataka (AB-ArK) scheme for providing free treatment to KFD patients. It is mandatory to treat those who are KFD-positive in the hospital, he said.

Areas like Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, and Uttara Kannada districts have witnessed a surge in KFD cases, with a total of 70 recorded instances. While many patients have been successfully treated, there are currently 20 active cases, with two fatalities and two individuals receiving intensive care, he added.

Minister Gundu Rao pledged to address compensation for affected families at the governmental level.


Health officials have been instructed to take precautionary measures to avoid deaths. It is advised not to use previous vaccines. A new vaccine has been discussed with ICMR. ICMR has agreed to manufacture the vaccine and an institute in Hyderabad will research and manufacture the vaccine. A potent vaccine for monkey disease is expected to be developed by next year, he said.

The distribution of DEPA oil, a repellent for ticks, has been ongoing, with over 62,794 bottles provided to the public free of charge. Regular visits and guidance from state-level officials and the Rapid Response Team (RRT) ensure timely intervention.Moreover, designated laboratories in Shivamogga and Manipal have been tasked with expediting KFD testing, with swift reporting mechanisms in place, he added.

To facilitate patient care, the Health Department has implemented a free ambulance service for transporting positive cases and earmarked beds for treatment in taluk and sub-divisional hospitals, he said.

Innovative measures such as tele-ICU services have been extended to monitor the health status of patients admitted to intensive care units daily, he added.


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