Udupi: With the Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD), commonly called monkey fever, being reported from nearby Shivamogga district, Udupi is on high alert following the death of eight monkeys in its Kundapur and Karkala taluks.
An autopsy has been done of five of the dead monkeys and samples have been sent to a lab in Shivamogga. Ticks found on the body of the dead monkeys too have been sent for testing to see if they carry the infection. The report is expected in about two days. While seven monkey deaths were reported in four different places in Kundapur taluk, the latest one was reported on Thursday from Hirgana in Karkala taluk.
Taking no chances, Udupi district's officials are sensitising villagers to the disease and doing a survey to detect if any of them have got the fever. Also, to make sure that the ticks on the dead monkeys do not survive and latch on to other animals, pesticide is being sprayed in a 50 meter radius of the spot where the carcasses were found.
"We have begun a survey to detect cases of the disease, but have not come across any so far. A red alert has been declared and we are doing everything to keep the people safe," said District Medical Officer, Dr Prashanth.
An inter- departmental co-ordination meeting covering the departments of forest, health, animal husbandry and the panchayat has been held for an effective strategy against the fever and panchayats have been asked to conduct special gram sabhas to warn villagers living near forests about the disease and help them take precautionary measures....