Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Doctors infected with tick-borne virus

Doctors infected with tick-borne virus
By Kim Rahn

Two doctors and two nurses were infected with a tick-borne virus last year after treating an infected patient ― the first case of human-to-human transmission of the disease in Korea, according to health authorities Wednesday.

An unidentified woman, 68, was hospitalized..with septicemia symptoms. As her condition got worse and she fell unconscious. Her condition rapidly deteriorated the next day and she died. It was confirmed she had severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS). SFTS is a disease passed though the bite of haemaphysalis longicornis, a type of tick. The fatality rate here in 2013 was 47.2 percent. Four staff members began suffering from fever and muscle pain, and their blood tests also showed they were infected with the SFTS virus. 
They all recovered.

There were five reported cases of human-to-human transmission in China between 2012 and 2013. In 2013, when the virus was first uncovered here, 36 people were infected and 17 of them died. The 2014 tally is not yet available.

[Fortunately we do not have these ticks in the USA at this time. ~ Bob C.]

---------- more information below -----------
Microbial communities and symbionts in the hard tick Haemaphysalis longicornis (Acari: Ixodidae) from north China
**Haemaphysalis longicornis is a species of tick.[1] Lyme spirochetes and spotted fever group rickettsiae have been detected in H. longicornis,[2] as have Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Anaplasma bovis.[3] STFS has also been shown to be transmitted via Haemaphysalis longicornis.

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