Monkey fever spreading fast in Shivamogga

18 more have tested positive for monkey fever in Aralagoodu gram panchayat limits in Sagar taluk.

Shivamogga: Three people have died of monkey fever and 18 more have tested positive for it in Aralagoodu gram panchayat limits in Sagar taluk , Shivamogga district since November.

The fever, which has been reported in the past in Theerthahalli in the district, has for the first time been noticed in Aralagoodu village.

The 18, who tested positive for the disease, are, however, not seriously ill, according to a medical officer, who explains that only those with low immunity are susceptible to the disease.

The fever is caused by ticks carrying the virus found on monkeys. If an infected tick from the animal bites a human, it can infect the person, causing fever, vomiting and other complications that can prove fatal.

In the absence of a definite medicine for the fever, medical officers of Shivamogga have gone on a vaccination spree in Aralagoodu gram panchayat limits and vaccinated around 2,000 people so far to prevent the spread of the disease.

With the tick, Hemyphysalis, being rampant in the Western Ghats, the people of Sagar and Theerthahalli taluks, which are located in their ranges, are vulnerable to it.

Two species of monkeys, Macaca Radiata and Hanuman Langurs, carry the ticks more than others.

Fortunately, Theerthahalli, which saw several monkey fever cases in previous years, hasn’t reported any so far. In 2015, 15 cases had surfaced in the village, 24 in 2016 leading to two deaths and 25 in 2017-18, when three people died.

Shivamogga Deputy Commissioner K.A. Dayanand visited Aralagoodu on Friday and took stock of the measures in place to stop the spread of the disease.

While he appealed to the villagers not to panic, he advised them to keep a distance of 50 meters from a monkey carcass, should they come across one, as a precaution.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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