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Kyasanur Forest Disease

Kyasanur Forest Disease (Monkey Disease)

The health authorities stepped up alert at Wayanad district in North Kerala as one person died of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), popularly known as monkey fever. Four more persons were infected by the disease and are under treatment.
KFD:

KFD is caused by the Kyasanur Forest Disease Virus (KFDV).

The virus was identified in 1957 when it was isolated from a sick monkey from the Kyasanur Forest. Since then, between 400-500 humans cases per year have been reported.

Hard ticks (Hemaphysalis spinigera) are the reservoir of the KFD virus and once infected, remain so for life.

Rodents, shrews, and monkeys are common hosts for KFDV after being bitten by an infected tick. KFDV can cause epizootics with high fatality in primates.

How it is transmitted?

Transmission to humans may occur after a tick bite or contact with an infected animal, most importantly a sick or recently dead monkey. No person-to-person transmission has been described.

After an incubation period of 3-8 days, 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.

Is there any cure?

Doctors say there is no specific treatment for KFD, but early hospitalisation and supportive therapy is important. Supportive therapy includes the maintenance of hydration and the usual precautions for patients with bleeding disorders.

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