ICMR Working on Vaccine for Monkey Fever: Karnataka Health Minister
Udupi: Health and Family Welfare Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said that in response to the state's request, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has agreed to develop a new vaccine for Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), commonly known as Monkey Fever.
With an increasing number of Monkey Fever cases reported in Karnataka over the past few months, Dinesh Gundu Rao convened a review meeting in Udupi with officials from the affected districts.
"The previous vaccine against KFD cannot be used. Two months ago, we initiated the process for a new vaccine. We communicated our need for a new vaccine to ICMR, and they have now agreed. Indian Immunological will manufacture the vaccine, and we have agreed to cover the costs. The process will commence, and I am confident that we will have a new vaccine for Monkey Fever by next year," stated Dinesh Gundu Rao during a press briefing following the meeting.
Highlighting the current status of KFD, Rao disclosed, "The peak period for KFD usually extends until March. Presently, we have recorded 70 cases, with 20 remaining active. Two individuals have succumbed to the disease, and two are presently in the ICU. While some patients are under observation, many have recovered and returned home. We possess all the necessary medicines and facilities to treat patients effectively."
He emphasized the primary goal of preventing fatalities and assured that comprehensive precautionary measures are in place. He urged immediate initiation of treatment upon detecting any symptoms and stressed the importance of raising awareness among the local population.
Responding to inquiries about COVID-19, the Minister spoke about the decline in the number of cases.
"Although there was concern about an increase in numbers two months ago, it is now under control. We urged people to remain vigilant without panicking, and the current numbers reflect a decline," he added.