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Kerala: Woman dies of monkey fever in Wayanad | Kozhikode News


KOZHIKODE: Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) or monkey fever has taken a life in Wayanad, with a 48-year-old woman who succumbed to the disease at the Kozhikode government medical school on Sunday.
This is the first death of KFD in the state this year.
The late Meenakshi, a tribal woman, from the Narangakunnu colony in Kattikulam, near the border between Kerala and Karnataka, was admitted to the Mananthavady district hospital on March 4 with symptoms of the disease and was transferred to the faculty of medicine on March 6.
Three other people who tested positive for KFD are currently under treatment, with two people admitted to the Kozhikode medical school and one person in the Mananthavady district hospital.
Wayanad DMO Dr. R Renuka said the condition of the three patients was stable. There have been 13 positive cases so far this year and nine patients were discharged after recovery.
The department has stepped up surveillance and preventive measures in view of the KFD season, which usually coincides with the summer months, but those in high-risk categories are reluctant to get vaccinated, the DMO said. All cases reported this year were Thirunelly panchayat, which is surrounded by forests, he added.
The health department authorities said that people who live on the periphery of forests and those who venture into forests for a living, such as the collection of minor forest products, wood, etc., have been instructed to get vaccinated.
The application of insect repellent ointments and the use of antitick lotions in domestic animals that graze in forest areas are some precautionary measures. Forest department staff also received instructions to get vaccinated with KFD.
How KFD is transmitted
KFD is transmitted primarily through infected tick bites (Heamaphysalis spinigera). KFD outbreaks coincide with the high nymph activity of Haemaphysalis spinigera ticks, the main vector of the disease, during January to May. The monkeys acquire the infection through bites from infected ticks and act as amplifying hosts with the virus that is transmitted to other ticks in the monkeys. Also, when an infected monkey dies, ticks fall from its body, thus generating hot spots of infected ticks.
Symptoms of the disease include sudden onset of fever, headache and generalized body pain. Also in the early stage of the disease, gastrointestinal symptoms may also appear, such as vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

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