More cases of Kyasanur Forest Disease in Maharashtra, India

In spite of efforts to increase vaccination against Kyasanur Forest Disease, 2 more people have died in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra this month. A total of 43 patients have been reported in 15 villages in the southern part of the district.

Advice For Travellers

Kyasanur forest disease is a tick-borne viral hemorrhagic fever found in South Asia. The mortality rate can be as high as 10 percent. An infected 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. The risk of exposure can be reduced by avoiding tick bites, whenever possible, especially when hiking or camping in fields and forests. Checking the skin daily for ticks and prompt removal of an attached tick will help to reduce the risk of infection.

This disease is reported sporadically in this area of India. While the risk for the general traveller is low, the risk may be higher for people whose activities bring them into contact with the forest. Travellers should wear protective clothing to avoid tick bites. An effective vaccine is available in the endemic areas of India.