Monkey fever or the Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) has claimed five lives in Sagar taluk of Shivamogga district. Fifteen cases were reported positive from Aralagodu village, as on January 4.
The symptoms of monkey fever are high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding and body ache and is often mistaken as viral fever. It is similar to dengue that results in haemorrhage.
Two thousand people dwelling across seven villages have been vaccinated in order to contain the disease from spreading.
Dr Prabhakar, Director of Health Services Department told CNN News 18, “Every year we get around 400 cases of KFD, but most are cured after treatment.
This time also we are providing all the necessary measures. We have taken blood samples of 75 people, out of which only 15 have come positive.
” The villagers blame the health officials alleging that timely action by the department could have prevented the deaths.
They claim that the primary health care centres are not properly equipped, as a result of which, blood samples are being sent to KMC in Manipal or Bengaluru which is delaying treatment. Shivraj, an Aralagodu resident, said “Health officials woke up only after the deaths.
The vaccine takes time to react, which is why people who were administered the vaccine have also started showing symptoms.” The first death due to KFD was reported from Shivamogga in early December.
KFD vector-borne disease transmitted to humans via infected ticks found on monkeys was first reported in 1957 in Shivamogga district. It was highlighted when wild monkeys were found dead in the forest due to the infection.