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KFD Tick Virus Kills 19 People In India: What Are The Symptoms Of Kyasanur Forest Disease?

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Traveling to India? You might want to hold off on those plans.

Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD), a deadly virus caused by tick bites, has been spreading to hundreds of people, killing at least 19 and leaving others infected.

Signs And Symptoms Of Kyasanur Forest Disease

What are the signs and symptoms of Kyasanur Forest Disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, KFD causes people to feel the chills, fever, and headache. Other symptoms that can occur include intense muscle pain along with vomiting, gastrointestinal pain, and bleeding problems.

Measures And Vaccinations To Take

Officer Pradeep Awate reports people all over India are being informed about the deadly KFD disease even though it's currently in Sindhudurg district.

Are there any measures people can take to control KFD? Officer Awate suggests people in the areas with high KFD activity should get vaccinated to help prevent symptoms of the deadly disease.

To date, at least 50,000 people have taken cautionary measures to get vaccinated. However, Awate estimated that more than 100,000 people in India are at high risk for catching the deadly disease.

Awate says people such as farmers should get vaccinated immediately, as they have a high chance of catching it from animals such as cows, which produce milk that can be infected by the disease.

Other animals such as goats and sheep can get infected with KFD but don't play a huge role in transmitting the disease.

"These animals provide the blood meals for ticks and it is possible for infected animals with viremia to infect other ticks, but transmission of KFDV to humans from these larger animals is extremely rare," said CDC.

Monkeys and rodents are the main hosts for KFD after being bitten by a tick that's infected.

History Of KFD In India

This isn't the first time Kyasanur Forest Disease, also known as monkey fever, has spread through India. In 1957, the KFD virus was first found in a dead monkey in a forest, which was discovered to be bitten by a tick called Haemaphysalis spingera. The disease has spread to several locations in India, including Kerala, Kernataka, Tamil Nadu, and Goa. There have been 400 to 500 annual outbreaks in India since 1950s.

However, the most recent outbreak of KFD hit Thane village in India back in December 2015. There was also an outbreak in Pali village, which killed five people and infected more than 50 in February 2015.

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