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Monkey Fever Outbreak Hits Siddapur, Uttara Kannada District

Monkey Fever Outbreak Hits Siddapur, Uttara Kannada District

The Uttara Kannada district is grappling with a surge in cases of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), commonly known as monkey fever, with Siddapur bearing the brunt of the outbreak. According to health authorities, there have been 108 reported cases of KFD in the district so far this year, marking a significant increase since 2019.


Alarming Situation in Siddapur Taluk

Siddapur alone has reported 100 cases of KFD, while the remaining eight cases have been identified in Joida, Sirsi, and Ankola. Tragically, nine individuals, including two young children aged five and nine, have succumbed to the disease this year. Notably, all fatalities have occurred in Siddapur taluk. Dr. Neeraj, the district health officer, explained that the children’s vulnerability to the disease stemmed from poor immunity, while the elderly succumbed due to underlying health conditions.

Intensified Measures and Awareness Campaigns

In response to the outbreak, health authorities have ramped up testing efforts across the district, conducting 2,242 blood tests since January. They have also launched a comprehensive awareness campaign, urging volunteers to scour forests and remote villages for deceased monkeys, a common carrier of the virus. Moreover, initiatives to educate communities about the symptoms of KFD and preventive measures have been initiated.

Addressing Challenges and Preparing for the Monsoon

Dr. Neeraj attributed the surge in KFD cases to prolonged dry spells and rising temperatures this year. To tackle the outbreak, special campaigns targeting high-risk areas have been launched, focusing on educating residents and providing preventive measures such as DEPA oil for forest visits. Additionally, hospitals have allocated 10 beds for KFD patients, although concerns remain due to the ineffectiveness of the existing vaccine.

Historical Context and Future Plans

Kyasanur Forest Disease, transmitted by ticks that feed on monkeys, was first detected in Kyasanur, Shivamogga district. Its emergence in Uttara Kannada district dates back to Korlakai village in Siddapur taluk. Efforts are underway to establish a KFD testing unit in Sirsi, with hopes pinned on the development of a new vaccine by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The battle against monkey fever continues as health authorities strive to contain the outbreak and safeguard community health in Uttara Kannada district.

Captain Ad 32.5x25 (kannada)