Around 14 persons have been infected with the disease this year

Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), popularly known as monkey fever, has again surfaced in the district this year. District Health Officer Rajesh Suragihalli said at the review meeting on Karnataka Development Programmes held at Zilla Panchayat hall here on Tuesday that, so far, 14 persons have been infected with the disease in the district this year.

The infection resurfaced in the last week of January. At present, the infection is confined to Tirthahalli taluk. The health condition of persons suffering from fever, headache, aches in joints, bleeding gums that are the symptoms of KFD in the villages located on the fringe areas of forests in Tirthahalli taluk is being closely monitored.

Of the blood samples of 50 patients sent for laboratory investigation to National Institute of Virology, Pune, 14 samples were tested positive, he said.

He said that the Department of Health and Family Welfare undertakes vaccination drive against KFD in the months of October and November every year. Around 4,000 persons, in the villages that were vulnerable to KFD, were covered in the vaccination drive this time, he said.

A person had died due to KFD in the district in the year 2012. Dr. Suragihalli said that, no deaths were reported from any parts of the district so far this year. Ample stock of medicines to treat those infected with KFD has been maintained in primary health centres in Kannangi, Konandur, Malur and Mandagadde villages. In addition to this, advance treatment facilities are available at Jayachamarajendra Taluk Government Hospital in Tirthahalli town, he said.

KFD is a tick-borne viral infection that spreads from monkeys to humans.

He said that pamphlets were distributed in the affected villages directing the people, who enter the forest to collect firewood, to apply dimethyl phosphate on their body as it acts as repellent against ticks.

  • ‘KFD is a tick-borne viral infection that spreads from monkeys to humans’

  • ‘Symptoms include fever, headache, join pain and bleeding gums’