Health dept forms task force to curb KFD outbreak

A team of Veterinarians conducting post-mortem on a monkey in Sagar taluk, Shivamogga district. DH photo

Faltering to quell the outbreak of the dreaded KFD epidemic initially, the Health Department has finally put in place a system to address the outbreak across the state.

Containing the further spread of the disease, the department has constituted a task force comprising five departments and roped in a total of nine department officials, including NGOs to carry out surveillance, vaccination and awareness activities in the affected region.

Sending out a circular to deputy commissioners of seven districts --- Shivamogga, Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Chikkamagaluru --- the department’s principal secretary Jawaid Akhtar has directed the district administrations to form a task force at every taluk level to carry out surveillance and immediate reporting of monkey
deaths.

According to the circular, the department has been given the major responsibilities including surveillance, hot-spot identification, vector study, vaccination, laboratory services and clinical management and referral of cases.

The Animal Husbandry Department has been entrusted with the responsibility of controlling ticks in livestock population and postmortem of monkeys and collection of visceral samples.

Similarly, the Forest Department has been asked to watch out for the death of monkeys, disposal of the carcass, ensuring vigil over those entering forest areas and arrangement for capturing sick monkeys.

This apart, the Tribal Welfare and the Women and Child Development Departments have been directed to ensure the safety of tribals, providing of ambulance support to forest dwellers and availing of services by Anganwadi workers.

Further, the Revenue Department has been directed to fund all the activities, besides urging the Education Department to create awareness about the
epidemic.

The principal secretary has also directed the officials to hold Gram Sabhas in the affected areas to create awareness about the disease. The Animal Husbandry Department has also been told to take up preventive spraying of malathion around cowsheds to avoid ticks.

A top official told DH that the task force will coordinate with the headquarters and work 24X7 to contain the further spread of the virus.

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Health dept forms task force to curb KFD outbreak

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