WHY IN NEWS?
- A new point-of-care test has been found to be highly sensitive in the rapid diagnosis of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD).
- This disease is also known as monkey fever.
- It is caused by Kyasanur Forest disease Virus (KFDV), which primarily affects humans and monkeys.
- It was first identified in 1957 in a sick monkey from the Kyasanur Forest in Karnataka. Since then, between 400-500 human cases per year have been reported.
- Eventually, KFD emerged as a grave public health problem spreading through the entire Western Ghats.
- In nature, the virus is maintained mainly in hard ticks (Haemaphysalis spinigera), monkeys, rodents and birds.
- To humans, it may occur after a tick bite or contact with an infected animal (a sick or recently dead monkey).
- Characterised by chills, frontal headache, body ache, and high fever for five to 12 days with a case fatality rate of 3 to 5%.
- Diagnosis can be made in the early stage of illness by molecular detection by PCR or virus isolation from blood.
- Later, serologic testing using Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Serologic Assay (ELISA) can be performed.
Treatment and Prevention:
- There is no specific treatment for monkey fever.
- A vaccine (Formalin inactivated KFDV vaccine) does exist for KFD and is used in endemic areas of India.
- However, it is found that vaccines are not effective once the person is infected with fever.