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 Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) |

 Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD)

Context

∙ Karnataka is grappling with the outbreak of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), commonly known as monkey fever.

What is KFD?

∙ History: The disease was first noticed in the Kyasanur Forest area of Sorab Taluk in Shimoga district in 1956-57, and was named after the region. 

∙ Cause: Monkey fever is caused by the Kyasanur Forest disease virus (KFDV), a member of the Flaviviridae virus family. 

∙ Transmission: The disease is transmitted to humans primarily through tick bites or contact with an infected animal, particularly a sick or recently deceased monkey.

∙ Human beings who visit the forest area either for livelihood, to graze cattle, or to collect firewood contract the disease. There is no evidence of person-to-person transmission.

Symptoms

∙ It starts to appear three to eight days after the bite of an infectious tick. 

∙ Fever, redness of the eyes, severe headache, and body pain are common symptoms. 

∙ Three-four days after the onset of initial symptoms, the patient may have gastro-intenstinal symptoms. In severe cases, bleeding from the nose is noted. 

Diagnosis 

∙ It can be made in the early stages through molecular detection by Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or virus isolation from blood.

∙ Later on, serologic testing using enzyme-linked immunosorbent serologic assay (ELISA) can be performed.

Treatment

∙ There is no specific treatment for KFD. Management of the disease includes early hospitalization and supportive therapy.

∙ This entails maintaining hydration and taking precautions for patients with bleeding disorders.

Prevention

∙ A vaccine is available for KFD and is used in endemic areas of India. 

∙ Additional preventative measures include insect repellents and wearing protective clothing in areas where ticks are endemic.

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