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KYASANUR FOREST DISEASE (KFD) OUTBREAK IN KARNATAKA



  Apr 16, 2024

KYASANUR FOREST DISEASE (KFD) OUTBREAK IN KARNATAKA



Q: What is Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD)?

A: Kyasanur Forest Disease is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the KFD virus, which belongs to the Flaviviridae family. It's transmitted to humans through tick bites or contact with animals carrying infected ticks.

Q: How does KFD spread?

A: The disease spreads through the bite of infected ticks, specifically the Haemaphysalis spinigera species, or by contact with animals like monkeys, livestock, shrews, and rodents that harbor these ticks. The transmission season is from November to May, aligning with the nymphal activities of ticks.

Q: Who is at risk of contracting KFD?

A: Those most at risk include forest dwellers, wood collectors, wildlife personnel, and individuals who enter endemic forest areas for work or recreation. Person-to-person transmission of KFD has not been observed.

Q: What are the symptoms of KFD?

A: Symptoms include high-grade fever, headache, myalgia, extreme weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle pain. Severe cases can lead to hemorrhagic or neurological manifestations.

Q: Is there a vaccine for KFD?

A: As of October 2022, the formalin-inactivated tissue-culture vaccine developed for KFD was suspended. Investigations revealed issues with the vaccine's efficacy. Efforts are underway to develop a new vaccine.

Q: What treatments are available for KFD?

A: There's no specific antiviral treatment for KFD. Treatment focuses on symptomatic and supportive care, such as hydration, managing blood pressure, and heart rate.

Q: What is the mortality rate for KFD?

A: KFD has a mortality rate of 2-10%. In about 20% of patients, the illness occurs in two phases, with the second phase potentially involving severe hemorrhagic or neurological symptoms.

Q: How are suspected cases of KFD confirmed?

A: Confirmation of suspected KFD cases is done using RT-PCR tests or serologic testing with enzyme-linked immunosorbent serologic assays (ELISAs).

Q: Why are KFD cases rising in Karnataka?

A: The recent surge in cases, particularly in 2024, has been attributed to decreased rainfall, which affects the washing away of infected ticks. KFD outbreaks tend to peak every four to five years.

Q: What measures are being taken to control the KFD outbreak?

A: Disease surveillance in endemic areas is ongoing, including monitoring in remote areas and efforts to develop a new vaccine. Public health campaigns are also in place to educate at-risk populations.



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