20 affected in suspected outbreak of monkey fever near Goa

March 16, 2016 04:58 pm | Updated 04:58 pm IST - BELAGAVI

At least 20 persons are suspected to have been infected by monkey fever in four villages nestled in forest areas of the Western Ghats under Kankumbi Primary Health Centre jurisdiction in Khanapur taluk adjoining Goa.

The affected people were daily-wage labourers frequenting to Goa for livelihood, said District Health Officer Appasaheb Naratti. Preliminary investigations indicated that they were infected during their stay in Goa, where the ‘Kyasanur Forest Disease’ (a tick-borne viral hemorrhagic fever endemic to South Asia), commonly known as monkey fever has griped villages of Sattari taluk situated on the State’s eastern side adjoining Khanapur taluk.

While 10 patients were undergoing treatment at Goa Medical College & Hospital in Bambolim and other hospitals in Goa, two had been admitted to the government hospital in Khanapur town and eight others in Primary Health Centres of the taluk. Conditions of all the 20 patients are stable and there was no threat to their lives, said the health officer.

One of the infected patients, a 60 years old woman from Mauxi, succumbed to the disease at GMCH, Goa in January this year. The Goa health department had already undertaken immunisation in all the affected villages to prevent spread of the disease.

The fever, contracted by the Khanapur taluk patients during their stay in the affected areas during the preceding week, is so far confined to four villages under the Kankumbi PHC jurisdiction, including Amte and Chapoli. The serum samples of the patients had been sent for tests to a laboratory in Pune-based National Institute of Virology.

Dr. Naratti, who along with his team visited with his staff to create awareness among the residents of all the four villages, said, “There was no immediate threat of further spread of disease. Yet, immunisation as a preventive measure could be taken up if the tests results were positive.”

“Vaccine for prevention of the disease was available with the department,” he said adding that “the monkey fever incidence was more in the form of morbidity than mortality.”

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