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5 Killed by Monkey Fever in Karnataka's Shivamogga District; Villagers Blame Lax Health Officials - News18

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Villagers say that they have lost faith in the health officials as they alleged that timely action by the department could have prevented the deaths.

5 Killed by Monkey Fever in Karnataka's Shivamogga District; Villagers Blame Lax Health Officials
Representative Image (Photo: Reuters)
Bengaluru: An outbreak of Monkey Fever or the Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) claimed five lives in Sagar taluk of Karnataka’s Shivamogga district. So far, 2000 people dwelling across seven villages have been vaccinated in order to contain the disease from spreading.

As of January 4, fifteen cases were reported positive from Aralagodu village.


Monkey fever starts with high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding and body ache and is more often mistaken as viral fever. It is similar to dengue that results in haemorrhage. "Every year we get around 400 cases of KFD, but most are cured after treatment. This time also we are providing all the necessary measures. We have taken blood samples of 75 people, out of which only 15 have come positive," Dr Prabhakar, Director of Health Services Department told CNN News 18. However, villagers say that they have lost faith in the health officials as they alleged that timely action by the department could have prevented the deaths. "Health officials woke up only after the deaths. The vaccine takes time to react, which is why people who were administered the vaccine have also started showing symptoms," said Shivraj, an Aralagodu resident.

Another resident claimed that the primary health care centres are not properly equipped, as a result of which, blood samples are being sent to KMC in Manipal or Bengaluru which is delaying treatment.

The first death due to KFD was reported from Shivamogga in early December. Forest officials had then connected it to the death of over 50 monkeys in Sharavathi. The Department then brought out an order banning tourists from entering the Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary.

KFD was first reported in 1957 in Shivamogga district. It is a vector-borne disease transmitted to humans via infected ticks found on monkeys. It was highlighted when wild monkeys were found dead in the forest due to the infection.

| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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