Virology institute confirms presence of KFD virus in Goa
SOIRU VELIP | NT Senior Reporter
PANAJI: The Pune-based National Institute of Virology has confirmed that the samples lifted from the three dead monkeys from Sattari taluka have tested positive to the Kyasanur forest disease virus.
Furthermore, the 97 samples lifted from 382 local people by the directorate of health services have also been found positive to the KFD infection.
Dr Utkarsh Betodkar, an epidemiologist in the directorate of health services, told ‘The Navhind Times’ that the three samples of the dead monkeys which had been sent by the department of animal husbandry and veterinary services to the NIV have been found positive to the KFD virus. In the last two years, several villagers from Mauxi, Zarme and Copardem in the taluka have been diagnosed with the KFD, commonly known as monkey fever.
This year, a 60-year-old woman from Mauxi reportedly died of the disease, though she was also suffering from other illnesses.
Director of animal husbandry and veterinary services Dr Santosh Desai said that 10 monkeys had been found dead in the villages of Sattari taluka. The department had sent samples of three dead monkeys to the NIV, which have been found positive to the virus.
Three more samples of the dead monkeys would be sent to the NIV shortly, he said, adding that samples of the other four dead monkeys could not be lifted as the carcasses had been putrefied and were disposed of by forest officials.
Dr Betodkar said that local health officials had taken 382 samples of locals from the affected villages and so far 97 samples of the people have been found positive to KFD infections.
Strict vigilance is being kept by officials in the affected villages. Besides, an awareness campaign is also being carried out.
As far as vaccines are concerned, he said that an official of the Karnataka government-run viral diagnostic laboratory in Shivamogga has informed that the process quality control test of vaccines would be completed by February 25.
The directorate of health services is likely to receive the first consignment of 500 vaccines by the end of this month.
The state government has placed an order of 1500 vaccines to check spread of the disease.
Once the first lot of 500 vaccines is received by the directorate of health services, another leg of the vaccination drive would be carried out to administer first dose of the vaccine to the people of the KFD-hit villages.
After the second consignment of the vaccines is received, second dose would be given to the people administered with the first dose.
Some 358 people from Pali village had been administered with the first dose of vaccine. However, only 212 of them took the second dose last year.
Expressing his happiness over people co-operating with the authorities vis-à-vis the disease, the state epidemiologist said, “As soon as we receive new vaccines the vaccination drive would be taken up in all the three villages probably during the weekend, or as per the convenience of the villagers. Besides, the vaccines would be made available at the community health centre, Valpoi.”