Udayavni Special

What is the new Tick-borne virus that has infected more than 60 people in China?


Team Udayavani, Aug 7, 2020, 11:10 AM IST

A new infectious disease caused by a tick-borne virus has killed seven people and infected over 60 others in China

According to Global times, More than 37 people in East China’s Jiangsu Province contracted with the SFTS Virus in the first half of the year. Later, 23 people were found to have been infected in East China’s Anhui province

SFTS Virus

The virus that has been identified as Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Bunyavirus (SFTSV) belongs to the Bunyavirus family

It is a tick-borne virus and also spreads from the mucous and blood of infected persons. Scientists have discovered four species of ticks – H longicornis, H campanulate, R microplus, and D sinicus. The virus is said to be transmitted to humans by an Asian tick — H longicornis.

The major symptoms of this disease are fever and coughing, in addition to headache, fatigue and muscle ache. Low thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), leukocytopenia (low white blood cell count) and gastrointestinal symptoms, accompanied by neurological abnormalities and coagulopathy are also other symptoms. Patients with severe cases of SFTS Virus can suffer from multi-organ failure.

At present, there is still no specific vaccine for SFTSV infection. However, in order to avoid contracting the infection, people are advised not to go into jungles and bushes, as ticks are commonly found in those areas.

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