Daily Current Affairs

What is Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD)? Monkey Fever Risk

Context: A case of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) has been reported from Kerala’s Wayanad district.

  • KFD, also known as monkey fever, is a viral disease transmitted to humans through a species of ticks usually found on monkeys.

Analysis

  • Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) is a zoonotic disease-associated, among others, with occasional neurological & hemorrhagic manifestations.
  • A zoonotic disease is a disease spread between animals and people.
  • Zoonotic diseases can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi.
  • It derives its name from the forest range where the virus was first isolated.
  • It is also known as “monkey disease/monkey fever” because of its association with monkey deaths.

Incidence in India

  • The disease was first reported in 1957 from Shimoga district, Karnataka.
  • Monkey deaths and human cases have now been reported from the neighboring states bordering Karnataka viz., Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Mode of transmission

  • KFDV is transmitted by an infected tick, especially nymphal stage ticks.
  • Rodents, shrews, and monkeys are common hosts for KFDV after being bitten by an infected tick.
  • When infected monkeys die, the ticks drop from their body, thereby generating “hot spots” of infectious ticks that further spread the disease.
  • Humans can get the disease form an infected tick bite or by contact with an infected animal, such as sick or recently dead monkey.
  • Available data does not suggest any human-to-human transmission.
  • The epidemic period usually begins in October or November and peaks from January to April, then declines by May and June.
  • The epidemic/ outbreaks relate to the activity of nymphs (an immature form of an insect that does not change greatly as it grows, e.g. a dragonfly, mayfly, or locust), which is very high during November to May.

 

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