Kyasanur forest disease: a rare viral hemorrhagic disease in India

Rohit Dhaka, Ramesh Verma, Raj Kumar, Mukesh Dhankar, Kapil Bhalla, Ginni Agrawal


Kyasanur forest disease (KFD) is a rare hemorrhagic disease in India and isolated in monkeys in the Kyasanur Forest of the Shimoga district, Karnataka State in India in 1957. KFD is a zoonotic disease and endemic in southern part of India. KFD Virus commonly infects the black faced langur monkey (Semnopithecus entellus). No evidence for human-to-human transmission. Large domestic animals (cows, goats, sheep) that become infected are thought be important only for sustaining tick population. When monkeys come in contact with the infected ticks, they get infected, amplify and disseminate the infection creating hot spots of infection. The people who pass through the forest are bitten by the infected nymphs of H. spinigera, which are highly anthropophilic. Local villagers staying in and around the forest area frequently visit the forest for collection of fire woods, grass  and get infected through tick bites. The incubation period is 3-8 days and patients presented with following symptoms like chills, frontal headache, bodyache, and high fever for 5-12 days. There were 466 human cases during initial outbreak and 181 more the following year and has caused epidemic outbreaks of haemorrhagic fever affecting 400 to 1000 people per year since then, with mortality rate of 4 and 15%.  In 2012, 9 persons were found positive for KFD, in Theerthahlli taluk of district Karnataka. There is no specific treatment for KFD but a timely supportive therapy reduces the mortality in human being.


Zoonotic disease, Anthropophilic, Ticks, Mortality, Haemorrhagic fever

Full Text:



Work TH, Trapido H. Kyasanur Forest disease, a new virus disease in India. Indian J Med Sci. 1997;11:341.

Gould E, Solomon T. Pathogenic flaviviruses. The Lancet. 2008;371(9611):500-9.

Pattnaik P. Kyasanur forest disease: An epidemiological view in India. Rev Med Virol. 2006;16 (3):151-65.

Borio L, Inglesby T, Peters CJ, Schmaljohn AL, Hughes JM, Jahrling, et al. Hemorrhagic fever viruses as biological weapons: Medical and public health management. J American Med Association 2002;287(18):2391-405.

Burke DS, Monath TP. Flaviviruses. In: Knipe DM, Howley PM, eds. Fields Virology. Philadelphia, PA: Lippencott-Raven; 2001: 1046-1109.

Brown RN, Lane RS, Dennis DT. Geographic Distributions of Tick-Borne Diseases and Their Vectors. In Goodman JL, Dennis DT, Sonenshine DE, eds. Tick-Borne Diseases of Human. Washington, DC: ASM press; 2005: 363-391.

Roy P, Maiti D, Goel MK, Rasania SK. Kyasanur Forest Disease: An emerging tropical disease in India. J Res Med Den Sci. 2014;2(2):1-4.

Adhikari Prabha MR, Prabhu MG, Raghuveer CV, Bai M, Mala MA. Clinical study of 100 cases of Kyasanur Forest disease with clinicopathological correlation. Indian J Med Sci. 1993;47(5):124-30.

Iyer CG, Laxmana Rao R, Work TH, Narasimha Murthy DP. Kyasanur Forest Disease VI. Pathological findings in three fatal human cases of Kyasanur Forest Disease. Indian J Med Sci. 1959;13:1011-22.

Pavri K. Clinical, clinicopathologic, and hematologic features of Kyasanur Forest disease. Rev Infect Dis. 1989;11(4):S854–S59.

Gould E, Solomon T. Pathogenic flaviviruses. The Lancet. 2008;371(9611):500-9.

Kyasanur Forest disease in Karnataka region of India. 2012. Available at: generalnewsfeed/news/nine-positive-cases-of-kfd-disease-detected/961531.html. Accessed on 3 November 2017.

Institute of tropical medicine Antwerp. Kyasanur Forest Disease. Available at: http://itg.contente eu /Generated/pubx/161/arboviruses/kyasanur_ forest_disease.htm. Accessed on 3 November 2017.