Aralagodu: The state health officials have sounded a red alert following an outbreak of the Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) or 'monkey fever' in the Aralagodu village in the Sagar Taluk, Shivamogga District. So far, four people have died in the taluk and 12 people are showing symptoms of the disease.
The disease was first identified in 1957 and is endemic to the Western Ghats region and the usual outbreak season for the disease is in the summer. However, the early outbreak has set off panic across the Malnad districts. Health officials are on a massive vaccination drive against the disease, while the forest department has banned the public from entering the forest areas.
As per reports, the health department has confirmed four deaths in 10 days from the same village. Dr S Sajjan Shetty, Joint Director, National Vector Borne Disease has informed that the department has been working to contain the spread.
“We have received three confirmed cases of KFD, whereas in one case, we could not collect samples. We were alerted about the outbreak by the locals a fortnight ago when a few monkeys were found dead in the village’s vicinity. Ever since then, we have been actively monitoring the situation and have stepped up the vigilance,” he explained.
Dr Shetty added that the villagers have been provided with DMP oil and that they have been advised to apply it on their bodies. They have also been advised to wear full-sleeved clothes whenever they venture into the forest for work and to bathe with disinfectants upon their return.
Reportedly, the Aralagodu village PHC has been supplied with vaccines and other essential medical supplies to combat the outbreak. The dead monkeys found in the area have been sprayed with malathion powder to kill the ticks — the carrier of the disease-causing virus. The people living within a 10 km radius are being vaccinated against the virus with two doses and later with a booster dose. So far 1,000 people have been vaccinated. In Sagar hospital, a separate treatment ward has been created for the infected patients.
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