Panaji, Jan 19: A 60-year-old woman died of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), commonly known as monkey fever, the first death reported from the ailment in Goa this year, a senior health official said on Tuesday.
The victim, Janaki Desai, who was being treated for the fever at Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) near here, died on Sunday, state epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betodkar told reporters here.
The fever has gripped Mauxi, Zarmen, Copordem, Budruk, Karmali and Saleli villages in Sattari taluka located in the north eastern part adjoining Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in the state.
Desai, who lived in Mauxi, was admitted to the Primary Health Centre at Valpoi on January 11 with complaint of the fever. Later, she was shifted to GMCH on January 13, he said.
Betodkar said that 24 patients from Sattari have so far tested positive for the disease and are being treated. The monkey fever was first detected in the state last year at Pale village in Bicholim taluka when it claimed four lives.
Health Minister Francis D'Souza had earlier said in the state Assembly that government has taken up a vaccination drive in these villages, but the response is very poor.
Kyasanur forest disease (KFD) is a tick-borne viral hemorrhagic fever endemic to South Asia. The disease was first reported from Kyasanur forest 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'.