'No KFD scare in DK, public need not panic'

DHO Dr Ramakrishna Rao answers to a call during phone-in programme, organised by Prajavani, at DH-PV Editorial Office at Balmatta in Mangaluru on Monday. Fr Muller Medical College and Hospital Microbiologist Prof Rekha Boloor, Fr Muller Medical College Hospital Associate Professor and Consultant Physician Dr Prashanth, District Vector Borne Disease Control Officer Dr Arun Kumar, Surveillance Officer Dr Praveen, Entomologist of department of Health and Family Welfare Manjula look on.

Dakshina Kannada District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Ramakrishna Rao said public need not panic as no Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) or monkey fever was reported from the district.

Rao was responding to a query during the phone-in programme, organised by Prajavani, at DH-PV Editorial Office in Balmatta on Monday.

He said since the viral disease was transmitted to humans by infected ticks found on monkeys, people visiting the forest for grazing cows or collecting firewood should take necessary preventive measures from tick bites like covering the body.

Rao also appealed to the public on informing the PHCs (primary health centres), forest department and veterinary officials if they came across the carcasses of monkeys inside the forest. Those residing on the fringes of forests, especially in villages with a history of outbreak of monkey disease, should apply repellent oil like DMP or neem oil to ensure that ticks do not transmit the infectious disease.

"Those who go inside the forest should have hot water bath and wash clothes in hot water," he said. Lavanya and Raviraj Hegde from Udupi sought to know on how the KFD spreads. The DHO clarified that monkey disease does not spread from individual to individual. But it is transmitted to humans through the infected ticks.

On symptoms of KFD, Fr Muller Medical College Hospital Associate Professor and Consultant Physician Dr Prashanth said that once the tick bites an individual, the patient will initially complain about symptoms of fever within seven days.

The fever will be accompanied by headache, vomiting, diarrhea and body ache. Those with poor immunity might get fever again after two weeks accompanied with bleeding in mouth, nose and leading to  complications. Only less than 5 % of the infected develop complications leading to death, he clarified.

Dr Prashanth responding to a query from one Santhosh from Udupi and Hucchappa from Shivamogga, clarified that there was no specific anti viral drug for KFD. Depending on the symptoms the patient suffers from, the doctor treats him.

No side-affects in vaccine

To a query from Dhanraj from Shivamogga, the DHO said that vaccination drive will be taken up in the areas where ticks test positive to KFD.

All the individuals in the affected area within five kilometre radius except below six-year-old children will be vaccinated.

Dr Prashanth clarified that there was no side effects from the vaccination. Field evaluation of formalin inactivated Kyasanur forest disease virus tissue culture vaccine in three districts of Karnataka state in 1994 had shown that no untoward reaction was observed on 61,302 persons, who had received two doses of vaccines.

The disease was first reported from Kyasanur forest of Karnataka in India in March 1957.

Fr Muller Hospital Microbiologist Prof Rekha Boloor, Surveillance Officer Dr Praveen, Entomologist of department of Health and Family Welfare Manjula, District Vector Borne Disease Control Officer Dr Arun Kumar were present.

 

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'No KFD scare in DK, public need not panic'

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