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Kyasanur Forest disease in India: Karnataka

09 February 2024

The Karnataka Department of Health has reported 47 cases of Kyasanur Forest disease in the state from 1 January 2024 to 4 February 2024.

According to media reports there have been two deaths from Kyasanur Forest disease this year, in Shivamogga and Udupi districts.

Kyasanur Forest disease is a potentially serious viral infection. In India it is also known as monkey fever. It is transmitted to humans through tick bites and occurs in south India. Symptoms include headache, fever, chills, muscle pain and vomiting. Haemorrhagic symptoms can also occur.

Advice for Travellers

Travellers to endemic areas should be aware of the types of activities that increase tick exposure, such as walking, hiking, camping, cycling or fishing in rural or forested areas and be advised to:

  • avoid tick bites by use of insect repellents and appropriate clothing (e.g. long trousers tucked into socks, closed footwear)
  • inspect their whole body for ticks daily after outdoor activities, and remove any ticks as early as possible.

There is no specific treatment for Kyasanur Forest disease and no vaccine is currently available in the United Kingdom.

For further information, see tick bite avoidance.