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WHAT IS THE TICK-BORNE VIRUS SPREADING IN CHINA?

WHAT IS THE TICK-BORNE VIRUS SPREADING IN CHINA?

Context

A disease called Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome, caused by the tick-borne virus has raised alarms in China.

Details

  • The disease is transferred to humans through tick bites.
  • Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) belongs to the Bunyavirus family and is transmitted to humans through tick bites.
  • It was first reported in rural areas of Hubei and Henan provinces in 2009.
  • Asian tick called Haemaphysalis longicornis is the primary carrier of the virus.
  • The disease is known to spread between March and November.
  • Farmers, hunters and pet owners are particularly vulnerable to the disease.

What are the symptoms of the SFTFS virus?

  • According to a study,  the incubation period of the virus is between 7-13 days.
  • Patients usually experience a whole range of symptoms, including, fever, fatigue, chill, headache, lymphadenopathy, anorexia, nausea, myalgia, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, gingival hemorrhage, conjunctival congestion, and so on.
  • Early warning signs of the disease include severe fever, thrombocytopenia or low platelet count and leukocytopenia.
  • Its risks include multi-organ failure, hemorrhagic manifestation and the appearance of central nervous system (CNS) symptoms.

 

How is SFTS treated?

  • While a vaccine to treat the disease is yet to be successfully developed, the antiviral drug Ribavirin is known to be effective in treating the illness.

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