KFD reported in Wayanad

Woman under treatment at MCH, out of danger

A case of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), also known as monkey fever, a viral disease transmitted to humans through a species of ticks usually found on monkeys, has been reported from the Begur area under the Appapara Family Health Centre in Thirunelly grama panchayat in Wayanad district.

The patient, a 28-year-old woman, is undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, and is reportedly out of critical condition. The patient had been admitted to the District Hospital, Mananthavady, on December 26 with symptoms of KFD and she was referred to the MCH on 28 December. The samples collected from the patient were sent to the Manipal Centre for Virus Research and it had been confirmed as a case of KFD, District Medical Officer R. Renuka said.

Surveillance had been stepped up in the hotspot areas identified by the Health Department on the fringes of forests in the district, Dr. Renuka said.

Meanwhile, Wayanad Collector Adeela Abdulla has convened a meeting of senior officials of the Health, Forest and Animal husbandry Departments on Friday to assess the situation.

Preventive measures

“Directions have been given to the Health, Forest and Animal Husbandry Departments to intensify preventive measures, including a vaccination drive, to combat KFD,” Ms. Abdulla told The Hindu .

The frontline forest staff and high-risk population living on the forest fringes had been advised to use personal protection measures, including gloves and gumboots, and repellent lotions before they entered the forest, she said.

Forest personnel have been asked to collect details of unnatural deaths of monkeys in areas where the outbreak of the disease had been reported earlier.

The Health Department had been continuing a vaccination drive that was launched in January 2019 and had stocked 1,000 doses of KFD vaccine for the purpose, sources said.

The first case of the disease in the district was reported in 2013 and another confirmed case was reported in 2014. The virus wreaked havoc in the district in 2015 when 102 cases were reported and 11 persons died of the disease. Nine cases were reported in 2016. Though two suspected cases were reported in 2017, not a single case was reported in 2018. But seven cases, including two deaths, were reported in 2019.

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