Tick-Borne Virus Reemerges In China, Infecting More Than 60 People

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It’s only been a few months since Covid-19 was declared as a pandemic yet it feels like forever. Many of us have been mentally, emotionally, physically, or financially impacted the pandemic. However, just after a few months into the pandemic there is already news of a virus in China again. Does anyone really have the energy to deal with another virus? Well, we break down what this tick-borne virus is, what the symptoms are, and if it’s a cause for worry.

tick-borne virus in China
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Firstly, the name of this virus is ‘sever fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome’ or SFTS virus for short. It is a tick-borne virus meaning that it is primarily carried and transmitted by ticks.

STFS transmission is through tick bites but scientists and medical expert suspect there might be a possibility for human to human transmission as well. In China, there are more than 60 reported cases and at least 7 deaths.

However, in comparison to Covid-19, the tick-borne virus is not a new disease. In fact, its discovery dates back to 2009 when cases emerged in China. After that, the country isolated the pathogen in 2011.

tick-borne virus SFTS in China
Image credit: taiwannews.com.tw

The pathogen of STFS belongs to the Bunvavirus category which is also a family of arthropod-borne and rodent-borne viruses. Arthropod-borne viruses infect humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes, ticks, sand flies, or midges.

Moving on, the symptoms for this tick-borne virus include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, multiple organ failure, low platelet count, low white blood cell count, and elevated liver enzyme levels.

Although it can sound worrisome, doctors are saying there is no need to panic over the virus. Human to human transmission is still not confirmed although there are reports that indicate it might be.

Meanwhile, it is important to regularly tidy and clean up your home!