INDIA is currently reeling from an outbreak of Monkey Fever, forcing officials to close a nearby nature reserve. Indian health are currently battling the deadly outbreak with six people already dead from the disease.
Monkey Fever, otherwise known as Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), has broken out in the area of Karnataka, a state in India. The rare disease affects both primate and human cases, so work is underway to prevent contact with infected monkeys, as they carry ticks which transmit the virus. Five people have so far been killed by the disease and further 15 have been diagnosed, according to health officials in the area.
According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) based in the USA, Monkey Fever is caused by Kyasanur Forest disease virus (KFDV).
Monkey Fever was first identified in 1957, when one monkey from the Kyasanur Forest in Karnataka was isolated and tested.
Annually, about 500 cases of the disease is reported and a death rate of three to 10 percent.
The virus is transmitted via hard ticks (Hemaphysalis spinigera), which are then passed through contact with primates.
Shivanand Patil, Health and Family Welfare Minister of Karnataka said part of the reason the virus spread was due to a “lapse” in the local health department.
She said: "It has come to my notice that there have been lapses committed by the Health Department.
“An expert committee will be appointed and an internal enquiry will be conducted on this, which will include forest, health, rural development and the veterinary departments.