With tension prevailing in Shivamogga and Uttara Kannada districts on the spike in number of deaths related to monkey fever, the State has formed a task force with officers from several departments, to look into the handling and prevention of the disease.
The task force comprises health, revenue, forest, animal husbandry and panchayat raj officials, under the chairmanship of the deputy commissioner. The order from the government said that the “Task Force will be constituted at the taluk level, headed by Tahasildar and Panchayat Development Officer at the Gram Panchayat level”, the order stated.
The responsibilities will include surveillance, including human surveillance where ASHA and paramedical workers will be deployed to detect and monitor KFD symptomatic cases, and conduct follow-up activities. Monkey death surveillance and immediate reporting has to be done by the forest department, and tick surveillance conducted by entomologists of the health department.
Awareness programmes should be held for personnel, and protective measures taken like applying DMP oil, wearing full-sleeved clothes, bathing etc, and these materials should be supplied to people going into the forest. The order also specifies that immediate spraying of Malathion has to be done in areas where monkey deaths have been reported.
Meanwhile, vaccinations have to be given immediately. The requirement status needs to be given to DD-VDL, Shivamogga, and available vaccines utilised judiciously.The order stated that monkey viscera and tick pool samples be sent to VDL, Shivamogga, which will further be sent to NIV, Pune, for confirmation of the infection.