Monkey Fever Surge Sparks Apprehension in Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka

Monkey Fever

The Kyasanur Forest Disease, commonly referred to as monkey fever, is rapidly spreading in the Siddapur taluk of Uttara Kannada district. Reports indicate that villagers in the affected area are fleeing their homes in search of safety as the outbreak persists.

To date, two fatalities have been reported, with 65 individuals hospitalized. Moreover, social organizations operating within the district’s healthcare sector have highlighted a sense of fear among villagers, coupled with an exodus spurred by the state government’s announcement regarding vaccine shortages.

Sanjeeta Nayak, an office bearer of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) acting as an intermediary between villagers and the district health department, emphasized the difficulties encountered by communities predominantly living in forest settlements within Siddapur taluk, Uttara Kannada district.

“Situated amidst dense forests, Siddapur taluk harbors numerous tribal villages whose livelihoods depend solely on agriculture within forested areas and hunting small animals. However, this year, the outbreak of monkey fever has affected the taluk more severely than in previous years, leading to the abandonment of villages by residents. The escalation of monkey fever has disrupted the lives of countless forest-dwelling families, compelling them to seek shelter elsewhere upon discovering the unavailability of vaccines,” expressed Sanjeeta.

The recent declaration by Health Department Commissioner D Randeep regarding the lack of vaccines has exacerbated the migration. With vaccine supplies exhausted and no immediate production feasible, villagers are left with no alternative but to seek shelter elsewhere.

Speaking at a meeting in Bengaluru on Monday, Health Department Commissioner Randeep stated that the state currently does not have a vaccine for KFD. He urged the public to cooperate by adhering to preventive measures to prevent infection. “The vaccine supply has been exhausted. We are unable to produce vaccines at this time. Vaccines are expected to be manufactured and distributed during the summer of 2025,” remarked the commissioner.

The finding of three deceased monkeys in the Siddapur taluk within four days has intensified concerns among villagers, leading to widespread evacuations from affected areas. The sight of deserted villages, lacking their usual activity and energy, highlights the gravity of the situation.

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