KFD fear grips Sagar as treatment remains elusive

Fear stricken: The family of Beerappa (third from left) is crestfallen after losing two members to the monkey fever at Kanchikai village in Sagar taluk on Saturday. (Right) A nurse treats a resident at Aralagodu village in Sagar taluk. dh photos/Shivamogg

The fear of KFD (Kyasanur forest disease) fever has gripped rural areas of Sagar taluk in general and villages of Aralagodu gram panchayat in particular. The death toll is rising by the day.

KFD field station officer Kiran S K said the toll stood at six on Saturday. As many as 15 KFD cases were reported in Aralagodu GP limits coming under Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary till Saturday.

People are visiting hospitals to get vaccinated. Teams of health officials, comprising accredited social health activists, are visiting houses in remote areas and administering the vaccine to people with symptoms of KFD like fever, headache and haemorrhagic fever.

The fever is spreading from one village to another. The absence of a proper vaccine against the virus is the major challenge now. Doctors are relying on symptomatic treatment.

Beerappa of Kanchikai village, who lost his wife and son to the disease, now has to toil for a livelihood at the age of 58. He told DH, “I lost my son Manjunath, 26, the breadwinner of the family. My wife Ramamma, 45, too passed away. I appeal to the government to provide compensation and help me get a fixed income every month,” said Beerappa.

The death of Krishnappa (65), a resident of Watemakki village, has orphaned his children Rohith (14) and Ranjitha (12) as they lost their mother last year to cancer.

Their uncle and aunt are their only hope now. They appealed to the government to bear the education expenses of the children.

Confirmation of KFD is awaited in the case of Krishnappa and Ramamma.

The death of Parshwanath of Mandawalli has made life difficult for his wife Padmashri, who is in her early 30s as she has to take care of two teenage daughters - Swathi (in her II PU) and Spoorthi (who is studying SSLC).

She told DH, “It is surprising that though he was vaccinated against KFD, he died. We can’t leave this place as we have areca plantation and paddy fields here.”

Elderly couple Bommaiah and Hemavathy at Marabeedi village are distraught after the death of their son Lokaraj (30), youngest among their five children. KFD cases are being reported in this part for the first time, they said.

Finding a medicine and controlling monkey menace must be top priorities, Bommaiah told DH.

The family of Shwetha (17), a resident of Aralagodu, who died of the disease on Saturday too is crestfallen. Ravi Kumar, deputy director of the viral diagnostic laboratory, Shivamogga, said patients were being sent to KMC hospital, Manipal, for treatment. Blood samples of are being sent to labs in Pune and Bengaluru.

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KFD fear grips Sagar as treatment remains elusive

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