What is Monkey Fever or Kyasanur Forest Disease?: Explained

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Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), commonly known as monkey fever. In Goa, a 60-year-old woman became the first casualty of monkey fever this year.

At least 24 patients from Sattari taluka in the north-east of Goa, have been tested positive and are receiving treatment. In 2015, it had claimed four lives at Pale village in Bicholim taluka.

Monkeys

Let's know more about the deadly disease:

What is Kyasanur forest disease?

  • Kyasanur forest disease (KFD) is a tick-borne viral hemorrhagic fever endemic to South Asia.
  • The disease was first reported from Kyasanur forest near Sagar in Shivamogga district of Karnataka in India in 1957.
  • Its outbreak then was among monkeys, killing several of them. Hence, the disease is locally known as 'monkey fever'.
  • It is caused by a virus belonging to the family Flaviviridae, which also includes yellow fever and dengue fever.
  • The disease is carried by ticks, rodents, birds, etc and it affects monkeys and human beings. It is a vector borne disease.
  • KFD is common in states like Goa, Karnataka (in Shimoga) and Kerala (in Wayanad and Malappuram). It was also reported from parts of Bandipur National Park (Chamarajnagar) and parts of the Nilgiris.
  • The disease mostly occurs between November to March.

How Humans contract Kyasanur forest disease?

The virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of nymphs of the tick or when humans come into contact with an infected animal.

Some facts:

  • No person-to-person transmission has been reported so far.
  • Monkeys and small mammals like porcupines, rats, squirrels, mice and shrews are common reservoir hosts of the virus.
  • Those who live in forests in disease-prone areas and those who visit forests frequently for their livelihood, such as forest guards and health workers are at risk.
  • Larger animals such as cattle can get infected with the virus but play a limited role in transmission of the disease.

Symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Weakness
  • Bleeding from the nasal cavity, throat, and gums

Recovery may take time from two weeks to several months.

Prevention:

  • Proper vaccination
  • Protective clothing
  • Tick & mosquito control

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