KFD scare hits school attendance in Shivamogga village

Just a handfull: A school in Aralagodu GP limits registers poor attendance. dhphoto

Kyasanur Forest Disease or monkey fever that had claimed the lives of seven persons in Sagar taluk has discouraged parents from sending their children to schools in Aralagodu gram panchayat limits.

The government higher primary school at Aralagodu witnessed poor attendance on Wednesday. Of the strength of 49, only nine were present. The school teachers were forced to engage students in non-academic activities such as watering plants. Later, they played carrom with the teacher in the classroom during the lunch break.

Karibasappa, a teacher, told DH that academic activities were disrupted over the past one week as parents were not keen to send their children to the school after the deaths due to KFD. Many parents panicked after three students tested positive for KFD. Fortunately, they recovered after treatment at KMC hospital, Manipal, Udupi district.

He said students in the school comprise those from Bilakanduru, Watemakki, Alagodu, Aardodu and Mandavalli villages. 

He said there are four government schools function in Aralagodu GP limits. Of them, two are higher primary and two are lower primary. The situation is the same in all the schools. Classes will be conducted on Saturdays and Sundays when the situation improves, to make up for the lost hours of teaching.

The school development monitoring committee held a meeting with the parents recently to create awareness among them about the disease and convince them to send their children to school. But the efforts went in vain. One classroom has been given to the Health department to undertake vaccination drive and another room to prepare food for the department staff.

The number of KFD deaths rose to seven in Sagar taluk on Wednesday.
KFD field station officer Kiran S K told DH that the National Institute of Virology, Pune, confirmed that Savita Narayana (48) had died of KFD. The death toll has risen to seven.

The deaths of monkeys due to KFD continue to be reported in various parts of the district and neighbouring districts. This has triggered tension among the people of the state. If the situation continues vaccine shortage may occur in the near future as vaccine production requires three months.

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