monkey-deaths-in-kerala

Context: The Bonnet macaque population in Thrissur, in Kerala, is caught with a disease and 11 animals have died so far. 

More on news:

  • Though it was initially suspected that the monkey deaths were due to Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), but the samples tested negative at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune.  
  • Veterinary experts suspect that a sexually transmitted disease might have broken out among the monkey population. 
    • All the dead ones were found to be females in the breeding age group.
    • An alpha male, which would have mated with the females, might have spread the disease among the population. 
  • The cause of disease is being investigated further.

 

Kyasanur Forest Disease

About

  • Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) is a zoonotic disease It derives its name from the forest range in Karnataka  where the virus was first isolated in 1957. 
  • It is also known as “monkey disease/monkey fever” because of its association with monkey deaths.

Mode of Transmission

  • KFDV is transmitted by an infected tick, especially nymphal stage ticks.
  • Humans can get the disease from an infected tick bite or by contact with an infected animal, such as a sick or recently dead monkey. 
  • Data does not suggest any human-to-human transmission. 

Symptoms

  1. KFD is associated with sudden onset of high grade fever, prostration, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and occasionally neurological & haemorrhagic manifestations.
  2. Patients also may experience abnormally low blood pressure, and low platelet, red blood cell, and white blood cell counts.

Treatment and Prevention

  • No specific treatment for KFD is available.
  • However, prompt symptomatic and supportive therapy including maintenance of hydration, hemodynamic stability and management of neurological symptoms decreases morbidity and mortality.

Vaccination

  • The State Government of Karnataka is following KFD vaccination policy in the KFD endemic area.

 

Image Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention