Karnataka’s Tirthahalli taluk under grip of monkey fever again

Tirthahalli taluk continues to remain in the grip of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), also known as monkey fever, as four positive cases among humans have been reported here in the past five days. With this, the total number of KFD positive cases reported in the taluk in 2017 has raised to 48. Four persons have succumbed to the disease here during the same period.

All the fresh positive cases have been reported from Kudumallige Grama Panchayat limits that includes two cases from Kudige village and one case each from Chiduva and Heggarugudda village. S.K. Kiran, Taluk Health Officer of Tirthahalli, told The Hindu that the patients were treated at the Government J.C. Hospital in Tirthahalli town. Of the four persons, three have recovered completely and were discharged from the hospital on Tuesday. One patient, who was suffering from age-related illness along with KFD, has been admitted to a private hospital in Manipal for additional treatment, he said.
KFD is a tick-borne viral infection that transmits from monkeys to humans through tick bite. Meanwhile, the death of four monkeys in Hosanagar taluk on March 25 has triggered panic among the residents there on the possibilities of a KFD outbreak. Two monkeys have died in a plantation on the outskirts of Hosanagar town and one death each has been reported from the forest on the outskirts of Sonale and Baniga villages.

Prakash C., Taluk Health Officer of Hosanagar, told The Hindu that the field staff of KFD wing of the Health and Family Welfare Department visited the spot where the deaths of monkeys were reported and have conducted the autopsy. The blood samples and viscera of the dead monkeys have been sent to laboratory for examination. If the results of the tests conducted in the laboratory confirms the infection of KFD virus in dead monkeys, a vaccination drive will be undertaken against the disease among the people residing in a radius of 5-km from where the death was reported, he said. Mr. Prakash said that high fever, bleeding in teeth and gums, and joint pain are some of the symptoms of KFD. The doctors serving at PHCs in the villages where monkey deaths were reported have been directed to send the blood samples of the patients with these symptoms to laboratory for analysis. A symptomatic treatment would be commenced for such patients without waiting for the results of the laboratory tests, he said.

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