Authorities in Kerala on Wednesday said that a case of Kyasanur Forest Disease, commonly known as monkey fever, has been confirmed in Wayanad, The Hindu reported. Such a case has been reported in the district after two years.
The viral disease can be transmitted to humans through a species of ticks usually found on monkeys.
District Medical Officer R Renuka said the 36-year-old patient, hailing from Appapara near Tirunelly, is now out of danger. She said that samples collected from the patient were sent to the Manipal Centre for Virus Research, which had confirmed it to be Kyasanur Forest Disease.
A 27-year-old man from Thonikkadavu in Bavali was also admitted to the Government Medical College in Kozhikode on January 20 after showing symptoms of monkey fever. Both men were working on a farm along the border with Karnataka.
“The district is on alert and has been on alert since reports of KFD outbreak were reported in Karnataka,” Kerala Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rajeev Sadanandan told The News Minute. Both patients are suspected to have contracted the disease from Karnataka, where 20 cases have already been confirmed so far from Shivamogga district.
The first case of the disease was reported in the district in 2013. Two years later, 102 cases were reported and 11 persons died of the disease. Renuka said although two suspected cases were reported in 2017, not a single one was reported last year.
Sadanandan said the state administration would 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,” he said.
Wayanad District Surveillance Officer Noona Marja confirmed that authorities have stepped up inspection in forest areas along the Karnataka border. The district administration and the health department have intensified preventive measures, including a vaccination drive.
“Though we have stocked 350 doses of KFD vaccine, the drive is facing a setback in villages on the fringes of forests as many are not ready to accept vaccination,” said Marja. “However, we advised them to use personal protection measures, including gloves and gumboots as well as repellent lotions, before they enter the forest.”