Monkey fever claimed six lives in Karnataka's Shivvamogga district where at least 15 people have tested positive for the disease. 18-year-old Swetha is the recent victim of the disease. Otherwise known as Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) has created a panic among the people. The condition is a tick-borne viral hemorrhagic fever endemic to South Asia.
The vaccination drive is underway since December 2018 to contain the spread of the disease. According to an official at the Virus Diagnostic Laboratories, "The special vaccination drive against the KFD is immediately initiated within 5 kilometers of the spot where the death of a monkey is reported."
Active surveillance conducted across houses in the affected areas by the authorities. An insecticide called Melathion also distributed in areas where monkey death have been reported.
The disease was first reported in 1957 in the Kyasanur forest in Karnataka. The disease caused by a virus killed several monkeys in the region, and hence the name monkey fever or Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) locally known.
How does KFD spread?
The virus spreads through a forest tick that clings on to monkeys, who are the carriers of the disease. Humans get infected through the bite of the infected ticks.
What are the symptoms of monkey fever?
The infected people start showing signs of body ache and high fever and ultimately have hemorrhage, like dengue.
People suffering from fever and other ailments exhibiting symptoms of monkey fever can contact a helpline number 104. An ambulance is also available 24 hours to rush the people suffering from the disease to the hospital.