New Deadly Disease “Tick Borne Virus” Causes Alarm In China
TICK BORNE VIRUS – It seemed like 2020 has more problems to offer as a new deadly disease caused concern after causing 7 deaths in China.
According to a report from Indian Express, more than 37 residents of East China’s Jiangsu Province were infected with the SFTS Virus (Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome) in the first 6 months of 2020. Following this, 23 others were reported to have contracted the disease in East China’s Anhui province.
The disease is commonly transferred to human through tick bites, thus the name “Tick Borne Virus”. However, virologist from China warned that the possibility of human-to-human transmissions cannot be dismissed.
But, unlike the current pandemic, COVID-19, the article said that SFTS has infected people before. But, the recent re-emerging of cases signaled that the virus could potentially come back.
SFTS was first discovered around a decade ago with the primary cases of the virus reported in 2009. The cases were initially from the rural areas of Hubei and Henan, which were also virus hotspots for COVID-19.
Currently, the mortality rate for the virus sits between 16 and 30 percent. With the fatality rate for the virus, the World Health Organization listed it among the top 10 priority diseases.
Those who are most vulnerable of contracting the disease were said to be farmers, hunters, and pet owners. This was due to the fact that animals such as goats, cattle, deer, and sheep were the primary carriers of the Asian tick called Haemaphysalis longicornis, the source of the virus.
Meanwhile, animals who are exposed to the virus generally do not show any symptoms unlike humans do. Furthermore, a study led by Chinese researchers in 2011 stated that the symptoms for the virus include:
- abdominal pain
- gingival hemorrhage
- conjunctival congestion
- and many more
Another early sign of infection was said to be low platelet counts, severe fever, and leukocytopenia.