Shivamogga: While the government is struggling to contain COVID-19 in the state, a zoonotic disease Kyasanur Monkey Disease (KFD) endemic to Western Ghats of the State transmitted by ticks to humans, has seen significant reduction both in number of persons affected by the disease by 36 per cent and the mortality rate from the previous year by 65 per cent, thanks to preventive measures by medical officers such as vaccination, awareness drive among other steps.
As many as 445 affected cases were reported in 2019 to 287 till August first week while the mortality rate has also dropped from 15 deaths the previous year to 5 this year in the districts of Shivamogga, Chikkamagaluru and Uttara Kannada.
Kyasanur Forest Disease also known as Monkey Fever has been around for about 70 years and the first ever case of Monkey Fever was reported in 1958 in Sagara taluk and the vaccination was developed to fight the disease in 1990s and since then a continuous efforts have been done to keep the disease at bay.
Hemyphysalis (ticks) are widely spread in Western Ghats taluks of Theerthalli and Sagara in Shivamogga and are carriers of virus. When these virus carrier ticks from Macaca Radiata and Hanuman Langurs, two species of monkeys are susceptible to the carry these ticks bite humans, the infected persons suffers from fever, vomiting and later on leading to health complications eventually to his death.
On the deaths caused by Monkey Fever this year, three cases were reported in Theerthalli, one each in Sagara and Uttara Kannada districts and Deputy Director of Virus Diagnostic Laboratory, Shivamogga, Kiran Kumar told Deccan Chronicle on Wednesday that constant surveillance has been taken-up in Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga and Uttara Kannada mainly includes human, monkey and ticks surveillance.
He adds that nearly 74 per cent of target population have been vaccinated in 2020 while it was 61 per cent vaccination coverage the previous year. Active surveillance is conducted by undertaking door to door survey through health workers and if any positive cases are detected, then, such persons are shifted to taluk or district level hospitals.
Besides, he said, KFD surveillance has been strengthened having one Entomologist, three multipurpose workers, two tick/insect collectors and a data entry operator and Virus Diagnostics Laboratory, Shivamogga, has all its vacancies filled for smooth functioning of the lab....