NILAMBUR: The Health Department officials are having a tough time in tackling the dreaded Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), commonly known as Monkey Fever, in the Karulai forest region near here, thanks to the lukewarm response by the tribal people. Among the 204 Cholanaikkan tribes living here, only 111 have received the preventive vaccination. The disease was first found among four Cholanaikkan tribals in July this year.
The district administration decided to conduct a special camp at Manjeri tribal colony on Wednesday to persuade more tribals to receive the vaccination. Cases of Monkey Fever was reported from the Nagamala tribal colony here. Thady Mathan,a tribal, has tested positive with the disease. However, he forcefully sought discharge from the hospital and went back to the forest during the treatment. Adding to the concern, five monkeys were found in the Karulai forest region in the last few days. The Health officials suspect Monkey Fever behind the incident and they are waiting for test results to confirm the cause.
“We have got enough medicine for preventive activities in the tribal area. The disease was found on a person who did not take the vaccination. We hope that the medical camp at Manjeri on Wednesday would attract more tribals,” District Medical Officer Dr V Ummer Farooq said.
Four persons from the Cholanaikkan community were tested positive with the disease last July. The Health Department has soon started the preventive measures and conducted awareness programmes. The tribals’ cold response poses a hindrance to the vaccination drive.
“The tribals are not familiar with such preventive measures. The disease will not spread from human to human. Monkey Fever is transmitted to human beings through a species of ticks usually found on Monkeys.