One case of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), commonly known as monkey fever, has been confirmed in Wayanad, Kerala. Authorities are awaiting confirmation on another case, and an alert has been issued in the district.
“The district is on alert and has been on alert since reports of KFD outbreak was reported in Karnataka,” said Rajeev Sadanandan, Additional Chief Secretary (Health), Kerala.
A 36-year old man from Athattukunnu colony near Aranappara, who was admitted to the Manathavady District Hospital, was diagnosed with monkey fever, and is reportedly out of danger. A 27-year-old man from Thonikkadavu colony in Bavali was also admitted to the Government Medical College, Kozhikode, after showing symptoms of monkey fever.
“When the fever was reported in Karnataka, we began surveying forest areas on the border as monkeys usually cross over to neighbouring states. We haven’t decided if vaccination is what we will be going for as its efficacy has not been proven yet, although Karnataka has opted for this method to curtail the outbreak,” said Rajeev.
Rajeev said that they will attempt to detect the disease early and treat it.
“We have amped up surveillance, we will alert and educate minor forest produce collectors and other residents in the area who go into the forest on the outbreak. And we will attempt early detection and treatment of infection,” he said.
Both men, whose villages are over 15 km apart, are suspected to have contracted the disease from Karnataka, where several cases have been confirmed. The 36-year-old man’s samples were collected and sent to the Manipal Centre for Virus Research, where KFD was confirmed, according to the Hindu.
Monkey fever is a type of viral disease usually transmitted to humans via a particular kind of tick found on monkeys. If a person comes in contact with a sick, recently infected, or even dead infected monkey, they run the risk of contracting the infection.
In Karnataka’s Shivamogga district, a KFD outbreak was reported, and at least 20 people contracted the disease recently.