Date: Thu 17 Nov 2016
Source: Nyooz [edited]
The directorate of health services (DHS) is expecting more cases of Kyasanur [Forest] disease (KFD), also known as monkey disease, in December , despite its vaccination programme commencing full swing from [Sat 1 Oct 2016]. Betodkar said many do not report to take the balance vaccine doses after the initial 2 doses even though the DHS has issued cards on which the date for reporting for the next vaccine dose is mentioned. The KFD vaccination programme includes 8 doses spread over 5 years with 3 doses administered within the 1st year.
Trying to overcome hurdles in the vaccination drive, which is underway in the Sattari taluka [sub district, North Goa] and Bethora, DHS has started creating awareness about the disease. State epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betodkar said that continued surveillance has helped them detect cases faster. More cases, he said, are likely to be reported at the end of the month [November 2016] and next month [December 2016], when locals visit cashew plantations to clean them prior to the commencement of cashew season. He advised those working on cashew plantations to cover their bodies fully while venturing into the plantation to protect themselves against tick bites. The season’s 1st case was detected a few days ago in Valpoi. Betodkar said they will understand the pattern of the disease once their research is complete. The disease was first detected in Goa in 2015.
[Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD) was first reported in Goa state in 2015. The 1st case in 2016 was reported from Valpoi (Sattari) during the week of 1 Nov 2016 (see Kyasanur Forest disease – India (14): (GA) 1st case 20161112.4624039).
According to the report above, an alert has been issued in the high risk areas of the state, despite the fact that an intense vaccination campaign is being carried out by the health authorities.
The disease commonly occurs during the dry season, from November through May, which correlates with the increased activity of nymphs of the ticks. Exposure to adult ticks and nymphs in rural or outdoor settings increases the risk of infection among the human population. Forest workers, farmers, and hunters are considered at increased risk of contracting the disease and therefore should take personal protective measures against tick bites and get vaccinated to prevent KFD. In order to prevent KFD in the local population, it is important to create awareness about avoiding tick bites. – Mod.UBA