News Excerpt
Recently the outbreak of a highly infectious tick‐borne virus that causes Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD) has been noticed by health authorities of several States.

About KFD
●    KFD is not a fresh outbreak, it was identified in 1957. It is known as “monkey disease/monkey fever” because of its association with monkey deaths.
●    Hard ticks are the reservoir of KFD virus and once infected, remain so for life. Cattles are also hosts for the primary vectors of KFDV (Kyasanur Forest Disease virus).
●    KFD is frequently fatal among non-human primates and is known to affect two South Indian species; Macaca radiata and langurs.
●    Transmission: KFDV is transmitted by an infected tick, especially nymphal stage ticks. The wild monkeys, Macaca radiata, get the disease when infected ticks bite. Infection causes illness and infected monkeys die, the ticks drop from their body, thereby generating “hot spots” of infectious ticks that further spread the disease.
        Humans can get the disease from an infected tick bite or by contact with an infected animal. The outbreaks relate to the activity of nymphs, which is very high during November to May. The epidemic period usually begins in October or November and peaks from January to April, then declines by May and June.
●    There is limited availability of information on KFD vaccine for human use in India and No specific treatment for KFD is available due to absence of effective policy and measures that can counter the rising instances of zoonotic diseases.

For Zoonotic diseases and public health in India refer KSG Current Connect, October 2019, Page No-80.

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