Samples of ticks collected from forests

Samples of ticks collected from forests

The area where the two monkey carcasses were found in Belthangady has been sprayed with malathion powder to kill the ticks. DH file photo

Dr Manjula, Dakshina Kannada district entomologist, said that, under surveillance for monkey fever, samples for ticks were collected from the fringes of forests at Kadaba and Ujire in the district.

“The collected samples will be sent to Shivamogga, to confirm if they had any infected ticks,” she added.

At the phone-in programme on Monday, she said, “Besides collecting samples, we have been advising residents on the precautions to take while going into or letting their cattle into the forests.”

The area where the two monkey carcasses were found in Belthangady has been sprayed with malathion powder to kill the ticks. The blood samples were tested at the Virus Diagnostic Laboratory in Shivamogga, the Manipal Centre for Virus Research in Manipal and National Institute of Virology in Pune, said the entomologist.

“The veterinary doctor should be tipped of monkey deaths within 24 hours of the death. Parts of the carcass, like liver, kidney and heart, will be collected and sent to VDL to confirm the cause of death,” said district health officer Dr Ramakrishna Rao.

“Ticks from the forest areas, which look like lice, were collected using lint clothes by flagging. Monkey fever is transmitted to human beings through bites of ticks. The samples are tested by real-time RT-PCR,” said Dr Manjula.

Dr Arun Kumar, district vector-borne disease control officer, said that the infected monkey too is weak and remains dull through the day. “The infected monkeys are normally found near water bodies. Black-faced langurs and the red-faced bonnet macaque monkeys are more prone to get infected,” he explained.

“As DMP oil is not available in drug stores, the DHO has written to the authorities in Shivamogga for a supply of 300 to 500 bottles,” Dr Pravin, district surveillance officer, said.

'Does not spread through monkey bite'

DHO Dr Ramakrishna Rao clarified that monkey fever is not transmitted by the bite of a monkey.

“It will not spread from the half-eaten fruits or consuming water that is used by monkeys. It is better to drink boiled water to avoid any kind of infections,” he said.