72 positive cases reported in Tirthahalli, one in Mangalore

‘Monkey fever’ (Kyasanur forest disease) is back after a gap of one year and has spread to new areas. “More than 200 cases of fever have been reported from Tirthahalli taluk (in Shimoga), since January this year, of which 72 were positive,” said Rajesh Surigehalli, District Health Officer in-charge, Shimoga, and Deputy Director of Virus Diagnostic Lab, Shimoga.

Of them, 71 are from Tirthahalli and one from Hosanagara, he said. One case has been reported from Belvai in Mangalore taluk.

Last year, no cases of monkey fever were reported in the district; in 2012, there were 90 to 92 cases, mostly from areas around Konanduru in Shimoga.

Dr. Surigehalli pointed out two patterns in the reoccurrence of monkey fever in Shimoga. “One, all new cases were reported in new areas; and two, they are reported 11 km away from the vaccinated area. The last case in the area was 12 years ago,” he said.

One reason could be the movement of cattle, carrying infected ticks.

None of the 4,900 people vaccinated last year and living within a 5-km radius around Jogimalali, Konandur, Tirthahalli taluk, have been affected this year.

Treatment is being given quickly (within one to three days). All cases are being treated at primary health centres (PHC) and a mobile team is making house visits.

However, the number of cases had reduced from the maximum 71 per week in the first six weeks of this year to 10 per week in March. Of the 119 tick samples collected, eight ticks were found positive (one from Tirthahalli and one from Hosanagara).

The samples were collected from Hosanagara (34 ticks), Sagara (13), Uttara Kannada (six), Chikmagalur (eight), Mysore (3), Chandanagara (3), Gundlupet (3), H.D. Kote (3), Sorab (1), N.R. Pura (1) and Hosanagara (1).

The Shimoga District Health Officer in-charge said eight monkeys had reportedly died in Tirthahalli and six in Uttara Kannada. Fifteen autopsies of monkeys had been done and two were found positive, he said. One was from Tirthahalli and the second was from Palod, Thiruvananthapuram.

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