Virus spread by ticks kills 5, sends 23 to hospital in East China's Anhui Province

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/11 17:41:21

Photo of ticks in lab. Photo: Xinhua

The local health commission of Lu'an, East China's Anhui Province confirmed on Friday night that a newly emerging tick-borne infectious disease known as Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (SFTS) has caused five deaths and hospitalized 23 people in Jinzhai county of the city since April, dismissing a rumor that the deaths were caused by dengue. 

SFTS caused by tick bites is a new epidemic disease of natural origin that has appeared in some parts of China in recent years. The disease induces symptoms such as severe fever, thrombocytopenia,  nausea, and vomiting, similar with the symptoms of dengue. 

Ticks are known to carry 83 viruses. The local authorities confirmed the SFTS caused by tick bites was not dengue fever, which is also spread by the insects. Previously, a rumor speculated on the internet saying the death cases in Jinzhai county were the result from dengue.

A disease control staffer from the Lu'an health commission said Lu'an is a mountainous region and villagers working in the fields are often bitten by ticks and leeches. People susceptible to insect bites are more likely to be stricken by insect-borne diseases.

The disease is caused by a novel bunya virus, which is spread by ticks. Patients infected of the novel bunya virus can spread the virus to others. Besides, cadavers blood and bloody secretions of the patients are infectious. 

The local authorities reminded local people that tick bites also spread encephalitis and haemorrhagic fever. 

Global Times


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