6-7 lakh units of vaccine sought to combat KFD

The outbreak of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), also known as Monkey Fever, in Malnad and coastal districts and parts of north Karnataka, this year, has prompted the Health department to seek six to seven lakh units of KFD vaccine, against two lakh units, for the coming months from National Institute of Virology, (NIV) Bengaluru.

Deputy Director of Viral Diagnostics Laboratory and KFD Field officer Kiran Kumar told DH, “Generally, around one to two lakh units of vaccine are sought from NIV every year. But this time, the cases are reported not only in various taluks of the district but also in many districts-Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Chikkamagaluru and in some parts of north Karnataka, which is something rare. So, we may have to supply vaccines to other parts of the state. Considering all these factors, a proposal has been submitted to NIV seeking six to seven lakh units of the vaccine. The vaccination drive will commence in September.”

Kiran Kumar pointed out that vaccine production requires ample time and it has to be tested in various stages before the distribution. The units of vaccines need to be supplied in phases as they must undergo potency, efficiency tests there. So, the proposal has to be submitted in advance to avoid shortage of vaccine in the coming months, he added

Hi-tech on the cards

The officials of health department have submitted a proposal to the district administration seeking allotment of site for setting up of hi-tech diagnostic laboratory in the city at a cost of Rs 5 crore. District Health Officer Rajesh Suragihalli told DH, “A team of experts from Bengaluru will visit the city soon to decide whether the existing district viral diagnostic laboratory must be upgraded or new building has to be constructed.”

He further said that plans are afoot to set up a research centre in the city.

Cloud-seeding

Former minister Kaodu Thimmappa has suggested the government to go for cloud-seeding in Aralagodu gram panchayat limits, Sagar taluk, where the majority of KFD cases were reported in just four months as soon as possible as rainfall would annihilate ticks.

The rise in temperature makes the disease virulent. So, the government must consider cloud-seeding.

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6-7 lakh units of vaccine sought to combat KFD

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