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Health dept issues guidelines to tackle KFD viral infection

The Directorate of Public Health has issued guidelines to the deputy directors in Erode, the Nilgiris, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri regarding the Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD). 

A circular to the DDs said Karnataka government had reported 53 cases of KFD infection among humans in that state. The KFD virus was first identified in 1957 in that state. Since then annually 400 to 500 cases have been reported. Rodents, shrews and monkeys are the common hosts of KFD virus after being bitten by an infected tick.

In the circular T.S. Selvavinayagam, the DPH, said transmission in humans occurs after a bite by an infected tick or due to contact with an infected animal, particularly a sick or recently dead monkey. The DPH has advised mapping of all border villages along Karnataka and Kerala and enumerating the eligible population. 

Daily fever surveillance in these villages and serum samples of persons with suspected fever and diarrhea should be sent for testing  to the virus testing laboratory in Shimoga. The health officials have been advised to conduct entomology surveillance and collect ticks for testing. 

The DDs have been advised to educate the public and undertake tick control measures. People who have to visit the forest in these regions have been advised to wear clothing that protect their skin and use tick repellents such as DEET (diethyl meta toluamide).

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