First Death of 2024 Due to Kyasanur Forest Disease in Karnataka: What We Know

After Ananya’s death, her sister has also been hospitalised with fever. Her KFD test turned out negative.

2 min read
Hindi Female

A 19-year-old girl, admitted at the Kasturba Medical College in Karnataka’s Manipal, succumbed to the Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) on Monday, 8 January.

The girl, Ananya, hailing from Hosanagara taluk, became the first person to die due to KFD in 2024.

The District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Rajesh Suragihalli was quoted by South First as saying,

“Initially, she had a high fever with chills and was diagnosed with viral encephalitis. There was, unfortunately, a delay in the family coming for treatment and by the time our health officials visited her residence, she was extremely drowsy, due to her anaemic status, coupled with viral encephalitis.”

What is KFD? KFD or Monkey Fever is a zoonotic infection that is caused by ticks. The viral disease was first identified in Karnataka’s forest areas in the 1950s and has since caused many waves.

With close contact between humans and animals in the Kyasanur forest areas, the disease peaks every few years.


The big point: What Dr Suragihalli also points towards is that Ananya’s village is a “non-KFD” area, since the area has not reported a single case of the disease in almost a decade, making the 19-year-old’s death a public health concern in the area.

After Ananya’s death, her sister has also been hospitalised with fever. Her KFD test turned out negative.

At least 2,911 more people have been screened for KFD. Apart from Ananya, one other person had tested positive for the disease and has recovered now, Dr Suragihalli had told South First.

How is KFD treated? According to the DHO, the only way to control KFD is surveillance and administering vaccines to the population at risk. But for the past two years, vaccines against KFD have not been available in the region.

Owing to this, the health department is taking the following measures for prevention:

  • Constant surveillance and extensive test sampling

  • Tying up with with forest and animal husbandry departments to issue advisories

  • Spreading awareness about the disease

  • Supplying Diethyl Phenyl Acetamide oil, which is a repellent for ticks, to all households

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Topics:  Health   KARNATAKA 

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