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New Tick-Borne Virus Spreads across East China

Oct, 2020

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The precautions to avoid infection should be strictly followed, especially in the summer season, as ticks actively breed during the summer season.

As the world is fighting against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic), a new tick-borne virus has been found to cause disease in Jiangsu Province, East China. Moreover, the virus may transmit from one person to another. A new disease caused by a tick-borne virus has infected more than 60 people and killed seven individuals in China. According to the Global Times, in the first half of 2020, more than 37 individuals in Jiangsu Province, East China contracted with the SFTS virus, and later, around 23 individuals in Anhui Province, East China contracted with the SFTS virus (severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus).

A woman from Jiangsu Province, East China, who suffered from the new tick-borne virus, started showing symptoms such as cough and fever. That woman was discharged from the hospital after about a month of treatment. However, the SFTS virus is not new, it is a novel phlebovirus in the Bunyaviridae family. It was first identified in 2010 in China and has subsequently been reported in Korea and Japan. Previously, it was reported that the SFTS can be transmitted from infected people or animals to others through blood, wound, and respiratory tract.

However, according to the expert on the novel bunyavirus, Sheng Jifang, one patient with the SFTS virus died three years ago and infected around 16 individuals who had body contact because the patient had suffered bleeding due to severe infection. According to the Global Times, one of those individuals also died later. Friends, family members, and medical staff of infected patients should take the necessary precautions. Individuals should also avoid going to bushes and forests to avoid infection. These precautions should be strictly followed, especially in the summer season, as ticks actively breed during the summer season. Moreover, the new tick-borne virus has the potential to cause a localized epidemic.

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