Published On: Sat, Mar 22nd, 2014

India reports outbreak of Kyasanur Forest Disease, or ‘Monkey fever’

An outbreak of Kyasanur Forest Disease, or ‘Monkey fever’ in the state of Karnataka, India has prompted health officials to take action, according to a report in The New Indian Express today.

Health authorities have recorded 74 cases of monkey fever and are stepping up preventive measures in the districts of central Karnataka.

The report by Mohammed Yacoob notes:

The department has deputed a mobile unit with a doctor and two nurses to create awareness among people about the disease. According to officials, they have covered 98 per cent of the houses in the targeted area in Shimoga and given 4,500 bottles of medicated oil to families who visit forests. Deputy Commissioner Vipul Bansal said the first case was reported from Kannangi in Thirthahalli. “As per protocol, people living in targeted areas close to the forest are vaccinated for five years in a particular season. After the incident, all have been vaccinated,” said Bansal.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD) is caused by Kyasanur Forest disease virus (KFDV), a member of the virus family Flaviviridae. KFDV was identified in 1957 when it was isolated from a sick monkey from the Kyasanur Forest in Karnataka (formerly Mysore) State, India. Since then, between 400-500 humans cases per year have been reported.

Transmission to humans may occur after a tick bite (Hard ticks (Hemaphysalis spinigera) are the reservoir of KFD virus ) or contact with an infected animal, most importantly a sick or recently dead monkey. No person-to-person transmission has been described.

the symptoms of KFD begin suddenly with chills, fever, and headache. Severe muscle pain with vomiting, gastrointestinal symptoms and bleeding problems may occur 3-4 days after initial symptom onset.

While most people recover without complications,

the illness is biphasic for a subset of patients (10-20%) who experience a second wave of symptoms at the beginning of the third week. These symptoms include fever and signs of neurological manifestations, such as severe headache, mental disturbances, tremors, and vision deficits.

The estimated case-fatality rate is from 3 to 5% for KFD.

There is no specific treatment for KFD; however, supportive care for patients with bleeding disorders is important.

Along with the usual preventive measures against tick bites, a vaccine does exist for KFD and is used in endemic areas of India.

KFDV can cause epizootics with high fatality in primates.

Kyasanur Forest Disease Distribution Map/CDC

Kyasanur Forest Disease Distribution Map/CDC













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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Dr.Stanley joseph says:

    Useful and informative

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