Kyasanur Forest Disease: Monkey Fever Claims One in Kerala

Divya Tripathi

, News

Monkey fever is also medically known as Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), it claimed one life in Wayanad district in North Kerala. According to the sources, four more people have been infected with the virus and are under treatment. The first infected person with Kyasanur Forest Disease virus (KFD) was identified in 1957. This virus is a member of the  Flaviviridae virus family, which also includes dengue fever and yellow fever.


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Dr. R Renuka, District Medical Officer (DMO) of Wayanad said that officials in the district are on high alert and are working with the Karnataka state health department to ensure that people, especially who are working in the forest are prone to coming in contact with ticks, should be alerted. She also assures that the vaccination drive has begun in guidance with the officials who had handled the outbreaks in January in Shivamogga district in Karnataka.


Monkey fever or Kyasanur forest disease is a highly infectious tick-borne viral hemorrhagic fever and is associated with high transience rates. According to the CDC, transmission of the disease can happen after contact with an infected animal or tick bite, particularly a sick or recently dead monkey.


Signs and Symptoms of Monkey Fever:


After an incubation period of 3-8 days, the symptoms of Kyasanur Forest Disease(KFD) begin with sudden chills, fever, and headache. Severe muscle pain with gastrointestinal, vomiting symptoms and bleeding problems may occur 3-4 days after initial symptom onset. Patients may experience sudden low blood pressure, as well as low platelet, red blood cell, and white blood cell count.


After 1-2 weeks of symptoms, some patients recover without any further complication. However, the illness is biphasic for a group of patients (10-20%) who experience the later symptoms at the starting of the third week. These symptoms include fever and signs of neurological problems, like severe headache, mental issues, tremors, and vision deficits.


Treatment of Monkey Fever:


There is no specific treatment for Kyasanur forest disease, but early hospitalization and supportive treatment is important. Supportive treatment includes the maintenance of hydration and the usual precautions for patients with bleeding problems.


Prevention for Monkey Fever:


The main strategy to reduce or prevent the risk of monkey fever is to get vaccinated against it, especially if you live in an area where ticks are endemic.


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