Monkey Fever, otherwise known as Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), has broken out in the area of Karnataka, a state in India. The rare disease affects both primate and human cases, so work is underway to prevent contact with infected monkeys, as they carry ticks which transmit the virus. Five people have so far been killed by the disease and further 15 have been diagnosed, according to health officials in the area.
What is Monkey Fever?
According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) based in the USA, Monkey Fever is caused by Kyasanur Forest disease virus (KFDV).
Monkey Fever was first identified in 1957, when one monkey from the Kyasanur Forest in Karnataka was isolated and tested.
Annually, about 500 cases of the disease is reported and a death rate of three to 10 percent.
The virus is transmitted via hard ticks (Hemaphysalis spinigera), which are then passed through contact with primates.
Shivanand Patil, Health and Family Welfare Minister of Karnataka said part of the reason the virus spread was due to a “lapse” in the local health department.
She said: "It has come to my notice that there have been lapses committed by the Health Department.
“An expert committee will be appointed and an internal enquiry will be conducted on this, which will include forest, health, rural development and the veterinary departments.
“The focus is on restricting the spread of the disease once again.”
While there are vaccinations against the disease, there is no specific treatment as of yet according to the CDC.
The KFD vaccination is administered within 5km of an infected monkey’s location and are currently being administered by Indian health officials.
When someone contracts the disease, general protocol is to hospitalise the patient as soon as possible, and ensure they are properly hydrated.
Authorities have also been handing out bug spray in order to prevent tick bites and further spread around a 10km radius.
What are the symptoms of Monkey Fever?
Symptoms of Monkey Fever traditionally develop from three to eight days after being bitten by an infected tick.
After this, the first signs begin suddenly, starting with flu-like symptoms of hills, fever and headaches.
Symptoms then become more severe, with severe muscle pain and vomiting, gastrointestinal issues and bleeding problems.
Most patients will recover without issue over two weeks but some may experience a resurgence of fever, mental disturbance, tremors and vision problems by week three.