KFD toll rises to 9 after 6-yr-old dies in Udupi | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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KFD toll rises to 9 after 6-yr-old dies in Udupi

By, Belagavi
May 07, 2024 08:30 AM IST

99 people have tested positive for the virus in the district so far, with 90 cases reported from Siddapur taluk alone.

A five-year-old girl, who was suffering from Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) virus, died while undergoing treatment at Manipal Hospital in Manipal, Udupi district, the officials said, adding that the toll stands at nine.

KFD toll rises to 9 after 6-yr-old dies in Udupi
KFD toll rises to 9 after 6-yr-old dies in Udupi

Uttara Kannada district health officer (DHO) Dr Neeraj BV said that with the death of the girl on Sunday evening, the toll from the virus has risen to nine, with eight fatalities recorded in Siddapur taluk alone.

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He further said that 99 people have tested positive for the virus in the district so far, with 90 cases reported from Siddapur taluk alone.

“KFD is common during every summer; however, it has been particularly severe this year due to less rainfall last year and higher temperatures compared to previous years, making the virus more deadly,” he explained.

He said that since most infected individuals reside in hamlets within dense forests, healthcare staff are providing regular assistance to them. “Our field staff are attending to dozens of hamlets in thick forest zones, where safe transportation is lacking, to provide treatment to the infected.”

Health minister Dinesh Gundurao, following the outbreak of the virus in January, announced that the available vaccine had been depleted, with the last supply sent to Mysuru. He assured that research to manufacture fresh supplies of the vaccine would commence soon, with plans to distribute it to all infected districts before the onset of the summer of 2025. “We appeal to the public to take precautions to avoid infection,” he said.

According to officials at Siddapur taluk government hospital, the vaccine is not available in the district though it is extremely crucial for preventing the infection from reaching a fatal stage. The hospital officials indicated that the life-saving KFD infection vaccine had been exhausted in the district since 2020.

Dr.Neeraj reiterated that since most infected individuals reside in hamlets within dense forests, healthcare staff are regularly attending to them. He said, “Our field staff are attending to dozens of hamlets in thick forest zones, where safe transportation is lacking, to provide treatment to the infected.”

“Siddapur, Yallapur, and Dandeli taluks in Uttara Kannada district are rich in dense forests, and the deadly disease mainly strikes from November to May, infecting people of all ages and genders,” Dr Neeraj advised, urging people to wear clothing that covers their entire body.

“People residing in dense forest zones in the state, such as Mysuru, Shivamogga, Belagavi, and Karwar districts, fall victim to the temporarily infectious KFD disease every summer from November to June,” stated a staff member, adding that while the disease is not usually fatal, it can have adverse effects on the future health of the infected person.

Belagavi DHO Mahesh Koni warned that KFD, which breaks out every summer in dense forest areas, may lead to fatalities if a person is infected for a second time, causing severe blood vomiting. He added that appropriate hygienic measures must be followed by those infected to prevent further complications, adding that KFD-infected individuals should be treated similarly to those infected with dengue and malaria.

Dr Koni explained that KFD does not spread from human to human but rapidly spreads through families of flies that bite humans after biting sick or dead monkeys. Humans bitten by these fly family insects may experience symptoms such as fever, chills, headaches, etc., leading to severe organ failure, kidney failure, hepatitis, and internal bleeding, especially in cases of second-time infection.

Dr Koni outlined the symptoms of KFD, stating that they typically begin suddenly with chills, fever, and headaches, followed by severe muscle pain, vomiting, gastrointestinal symptoms, and bleeding problems 3-4 days after the initial onset.

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