Expert panel to probe into reasons for spread of KFD

Committee to prepare report after conducting field visits

In the wake of the Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) outbreak in Sagar taluk, the State government has decided to form an expert committee to probe into reasons for the spread of the disease, also known as monkey fever.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shivananda Patil said here on Sunday that the panel will also submit recommendations on strengthening health infrastructure in Malnad region.

“The committee will comprise a retired dean of a medical college, a retired IAS officer, and a retired judge. They will prepare a report after conducting field visits and interacting with all stakeholders, including officials of the Health and Family Welfare and Forest Departments and residents of areas where the outbreak was reported,” he said.

Regarding allegations from residents of Aralagodu on the lapses in providing treatment to patients at government health establishments, including the government sub-divisional hospital in Sagar and McGann Hospital in Shivamogga, he said the committee will conduct a probe.

He said that at present, blood samples of the patients with symptoms of KFD are being sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

To avoid delay in diagnosis, the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) testing facility will be started immediately at the Viral Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) in Shivamogga. The VDL has the equipment and trained staff to conduct tests. The State government will also establish an RTPCR testing unit in Sagar city, he said. He said that three advanced life support ambulances will be stationed in Sagar to shift critical patients to Shivamogga or to private hospitals in Udupi district.

Compensation

On compensation for the family of the deceased, he said he would discuss the issue with the Chief Minister.

Earlier, Mr. Patil visited Aralagodu and spoke to the family members of the patients. He also visited the KFD ward at the sub-divisional hospital in Sagar city.

So far, six persons have died of KFD in Aralagodu Gram Panchayat limits since December 2018 and 18 have tested positive.

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