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KFD claims one more in Wayanad

One more Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD or Monkey Fever) was reported in Wayanad district on Sunday.

Suneesh, 23, of the Athattukunnu tribal hamlet at Appapara, near Thirunelly, in the district of KFD at the District Hospital at Mananthavady. A few weeks ago another tribal youth near the snake died of the disease.

Suneesh had been living alongside his family at Kosahally settlement at Bairakuppa on Kerala Karnataka border for past five years, Renuka, District Medical Officer told The Hindu. Suneesh had been undergoing treatment in various hospitals in Karnataka before being admitted to the District Hospital at Mananthavady in a critical state around 10:30 am on Sunday with symptoms of Monkey Fever. He died at 11 a.m. the same day, Dr. Renuka said.

"As many as 12 reported KFD cases were reported in the district, including two cases from Karnataka, this year, of which six cases were confirmed. However, there was no need for panic as all steps had been taken to tackle the outbreak of the disease in the district. Moreover, no patients were undergoing treatment with the symptoms of KFD in the district now. Renuka said.

"We have been closely monitoring the past three months and various measures, including vaccination drives, awareness programs in human settlements, and regular review meetings," she said.

As many as 1,231 persons, including 986 on the forest area in Appapara and Begur areas on the Kerala-Karnataka border, have been vaccinated with far.

As many as 700 doses of vaccines have been stocked and futher for 1000 doses have been ordered. But the reluctance of tribespeople was a major challenge. Renuka said.

KFD prone areas in Karnataka for work and people living on forest fringes have been asked to take personal protection measures, including gloves and gumboots, as well as apply repellent lotions before they enter the forest, Dr . Renuka added.

According to the official data available with the Health Department, the first outbreak of the disease was reported in the district in 2013 with one case.

The disease wreaked havoc in the district in 2015 when 102 cases were reported and 11 people died of the disease. Nine cases were reported in 2016. Though two cases were reported in 2017, not a single case was reported last year.

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