Monkey Fever Claims Two Lives in India: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention


Monkey Fever

Two tragic deaths have been reported in Karnataka, India, as the deadly Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), commonly known as monkey fever, claims the lives of two individuals. According to the Press Trust of India (PTI), an 18-year-old girl and a 79-year-old man succumbed to the effects of this viral infection, prompting urgent measures from state health officials to contain the outbreak.

The first casualty, an 18-year-old girl whose identity remains undisclosed, was the initial victim of the disease. The second fatality occurred in Udupi district, where a 79-year-old man from Sringeri taluk in Chikkamagaluru lost his life in a private hospital. The identities of both individuals have been withheld.

The severity of the situation is evident from the rising number of reported cases across the state, with approximately 50 positive cases of monkey fever documented so far.

The majority of cases are concentrated in Uttara Kannada district, followed by Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru districts. In response to these alarming figures, health authorities have convened meetings to assess readiness in combating the spread of the disease effectively.

Rising Number Of Monkey Fever Patients

Kyasanur Forest Disease, or KFD, is a viral illness caused by the Kyasanur Forest Disease virus (KFDV), belonging to the Flaviviridae family. The disease originated in the dense forests of Karnataka in 1957 and has since posed a significant public health challenge in various parts of South Asia.

Transmission occurs primarily through tick bites, particularly by the Haemaphysalis spinigera species, with non-human primates like monkeys serving as reservoir hosts.

Symptoms of monkey fever typically appear 3 to 8 days after a tick bite and may include high fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, and gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, the disease can progress to complications like encephalitis, hepatitis, and multi-organ failure, posing grave risks to affected individuals.

Preventing KFD involves implementing effective measures to avoid tick bites and minimize exposure to infected animals. Strategies include using insect repellents containing DEET, wearing protective clothing, avoiding tick habitats, and performing regular tick checks after outdoor activities.

Unfortunately, there is no specific antiviral treatment for monkey fever. Management primarily focuses on symptom alleviation, supportive care, and close monitoring for complications. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary for intensive therapy and observation.

As health officials work to contain the outbreak and prevent further spread of monkey fever in Karnataka, it is essential for individuals to stay informed about the causes, symptoms, and prevention strategies of this viral illness to protect themselves and their communities.

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