Kyasanur Forest disease increases in Kerala State, India

In the last five days, the number of reported cases of Kyasanur Forest disease has increased from 11 cases to 21. Cases were reported by various parts of the district of Wayanad, including 7 cases from the Cheeyambam tribal hamlet in Pulpally grama panchayat and one each from Padinharethara, Periya, and Poothadi grama panchayats [a village-level unit of local government]. The virus that causes Kyasanur Forest disease can be found in Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Kyasanur Forest disease is a tick-borne viral hemorrhagic fever. Humans contract infection from the bite of nymphs of the tick when engaged in recreational or occupational activities in rural or outdoor settings (e.g., hunters, herders, forest workers, farmers). The affected person may recover in two weeks time, but the convalescent period is typically very long, lasting for several months. There will be muscle aches and weakness during this period and the affected person is unable to engage in physical activities.