KFD-Deaths in Goa and Kerala, India

The death of villagers from Goa (Pali village) and Kerala (Ezhupathimoonnu Kattunayakka tribal hamlet) has been attributed to KFD. While the disease transmission is established in Kerala and Karnataka, this is the first report of a fatality from KFD from Goa. The problem with KFD in peri-sylvatic areas seems to be spreading wider.

The CDC Fact Sheet on KFD provides a lot of vital information on this matter.

The case from Kerala seems to belong to the subset of patients (around 10-20%) who experience a biphasic manifestation of KFD. The disease abates after initial symptoms suggestive of a viral hemorrhagic fever which runs its course in two weeks or so. From the third week onward, there is a fresh wave of symptoms, accompanied by neurological manifestations and severe complications, which may even result in death.

Is KFD Spreading to More Indian States?

If this Pune Mirror article is to be believed, then Kyasanur Forest Disease, a viral hemorrhagic fever, caused by the KFD virus, which belongs to Falviviridae, and is spread most commonly by the tick Haemaphysalis spinigera is spreading to areas where it was traditionally not found. Most commonly associated with Karnataka, with newer foci developing in Kerala, this disease is threatening to spill into the Western Ghats and into the state of Maharashtra.

First reported from the Kyasanur forest area in 1957, this disease has slowly and surely started to increase in its geographic range.