Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Japan Reports Two Additional SFTS Fatalities


Photo Credit Wikipedia

Tick Species Associated with SFTS in China



# 6933


Two weeks ago, in SFTS Fatality Reported In Japan, we learned of the first known case of SFTS (Severe Fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome) recorded in Japan, linked to a tickborne Bunyavirus virus recently discovered in China.



Photo Credit Wikipedia


Outbreaks of this syndrome were first identified in central China's Hubei and Henan provinces during the spring and summer of 2009.


In 2011, the NEJM carried a report: Fever with Thrombocytopenia Associated with a Novel Bunyavirus in China that linked the syndrome to a novel virus.


At that time, human-to-human transmission of the virus was not suspected, but that changed with the 2012 publication of an article in the journal Vector Borne Zoonotic Diseases called:

Person-to-person transmission of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus.

Liu Y, Li Q, Hu W, Wu J, Wang Y, Mei L, Walker DH, Ren J, Wang Y, Yu XJ.


We concluded that SFTSV can be transmitted from person to person through contacting patient's blood.


Today, thanks to a tip from a reader in Japan, we learn that two more cases of SFTS have been identified in Japan.


From NHK World News.


Tick-transmitted virus killed 2 more last year

Feb. 13, 2013 - Updated 06:51 UTC (15:51 JST)

Japanese health authorities have confirmed 2 more deaths last year from a tick-transmitted virus in western Japan.


In January, the health ministry confirmed that a woman in Yamaguchi Prefecture died last autumn of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or SFTS.


The death was the first confirmed in Japan from the infectious disease, which has a 12 percent fatality rate. The virus that causes SFTS was identified in China in 2011.


Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases says 2 more patients, both adult males in Ehime and Miyazaki prefectures, also died of SFTS last year.


Neither man had traveled abroad before falling ill.
The viruses detected in the patients were genetically similar to the one found in Yamaguchi Prefecture but not those in China.


Health officials believe the 2 men were infected with the virus from tick bites in Japan. The virus-carrying ticks live outdoors and are of a different type from those found in clothing and bed


And another report the Daily Mainichi.


2 more Japanese confirmed dead due to new viral infection

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The health ministry said Wednesday two more Japanese had been confirmed dead due to a new viral infection transmitted by a mite bite, bringing the death toll to three in the country.

(Continue . . .)



This brings to three the number of cases reported in Japan, and they all occurred in people without recent travel history out of the country, and in three separate prefectures.

From Japan’s Ministry of Health we get the following (albeit awkwardly machine translated) statement:


Situation in the country confirmed thrombocytopenia syndrome in patients with severe febrile (SFTS)

Recently, "syndrome thrombocytopenia febrile severe (Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome: SFTS)" disease tickborne new response to the fact that cases have been confirmed for the first time in the country, with respect to medical institutions, we have examined the patient similar If you provide information that has been requested through the local government cooperation (Annex 1).


Thing out of the case then, written by a medical institution, (died last fall either. male adults in Miyazaki Prefecture and adult men, Ehime Prefecture. no history of travel abroad these days) two cases were SFTS for infection National Since the disease is confirmed by laboratory tests, to local governments across the country that I have provided information effect (Annex 2).


Continue to conduct research and gather information about the disease, in the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, we will take appropriate action.

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