What is Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD)? Monkey Fever Strikes Karnataka’S Tirthahalli Taluk (Download PDF)

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Karnataka՚s Tirthahalli taluk came under grip of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) or monkey fever. Five positive cases and one death have been recorded in humans. 5 monkeys died in the forest of Ghantejanagallu near Suruvinakoppa village. In 2016 - 17, four persons died of KFD in Tirthahalli and 48 positive cases were reported.

Map of Kyasanur Forest Disease

What is Monkey Fever or Kyasanur Forest Disease?

  • Tick-borne viral diseases caused by Kyasanur forest disease virus (KFDV) , a member of the virus family Flaviviridae, which also causes dengue and yellow fever.
  • Monkey fever affects black-faced langurs and red-faced bonnet monkeys resulting in their death- and hence the name.
  • Endemic to South Asia and first detected in 1957 in Kyasanur Forest in Shimoga in Karnataka.
  • Between 400 and 500 humans cases are reported each year in South Asia, mainly India- seasonal outbreaks between December and May along the Western Ghats, striking farmers in Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
  • Hard ticks (Hemaphysalis spinigera) are the reservoir of KFDV. Once infected, they remain reservoirs for life.
  • Rodents, shrews, and monkeys are common hosts for KFDV after being bitten by an infected tick. KFDV kills most primates it infects.
  • Symptoms in humans include fever for more than 12 days, accompanied by cough, headache, diarrhea, and vomiting. The fever is followed by mental disturbances, tremors, and vision deficits. Includes haemorrhagic symptoms such as bleeding from nose, throat, and gums. It also causes gastrointestinal bleeding, muscle stiffness, tremors, absent reflexes and mental disturbances.

Transmission of Monkey Fever

  • The vector responsible for its transmission is ticks (Hemaphysalis spinigera) known to thrive in the Western Ghats.
  • Humans contract KFD infection from the bite of nymphs of the tick.
Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) Virus Ecology

Prevention of Monkey Fever

  • Vaccination against monkey fever is used in endemic areas of India.
  • Additional preventative measures include using insect repellents and wearing protective clothes in areas where ticks are endemic

- Published/Last Modified on: January 9, 2018

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