One of the sure signs that summer is finally here is that vector borne illnesses are on the rise once again. Earlier this week we looked at the first West Nile Case in Texas this year, the CDC held a Grand Rounds on Preventing Aedes Mosquito-Borne Diseases, and the South Korean CDC announced their first case of SFTS for the year.
□ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Director: Ms. byeongguk) is' SFTS (severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome) " It announced that the first patient has occurred this year.
* SFTS: April to November bitten by ticks occurs (wild ticks), and fever, gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.), indicating the symptoms of thrombocytopenia
* 2013 36 cases (17 deaths), 2014 55 cases (15 deaths, the first onset of patient days 4.24 days)
❍ Patients elapsed: Chungnam resident, 73-year-old woman
- (May 9), fever symptoms (usual work the fields)
- (May 12th) in Daejeon A hospital inpatient care (ICU)
- But it is now reduced platelet recovery, conscious life - threatening condition turbid
SFTS or Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome - a tickborne Phlebovirus - was first discovered in China in 2009, but has been reported in Japan & Korea as well. It is genetically similar to the recently identified Heartland Virus (see MMWR: Heartland Virus Disease — United States, 2012–2013) and to a Novel Bunyavirus In Livestock – Minnesota first reported in 2013.
Phleboviruses are part of the very large family Bunyaviridae of which more than 300 have been identified around the world. While not all Bunyaviruses are dangerous to humans (some only infect plants), the Bunyavirus family include such nasties as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), Hantaviruses, and Rift Valley Fever.
Most are spread via arthropod vectors (ticks, mosquitoes & sand flies), with the notable exception of Hantaviruses (see Hantaviruses Revisited), which are primarily spread via virus-laden feces and urine of rodents.
Like with CCHF, under the right conditions, limited human-to-human transmission of SFTS (via blood, mucus or other bodily fluids) has been documented. (see Person-to-person transmission of severe fever with thrombocytopenia Syndrome virus)
Last summer in EID Journal: Two Dispatches On SFTS we looked at the various species and the rate of SFTS infection among ticks collected South Korean. They found SFTSV in 5.7% of H. longicornis ticks tested, which represented 81.2% of the ticks sampled.
Other species tested were also found to carry the virus, but it isn’t yet known whether they can transmit it to humans.
A second study, a seroprevalence study of healthy individuals in China, looked for evidence of prior infection with SFTS without a history of severe illness. The abstract reported: ` Of 986 healthy persons tested, 71 had IgG antibodies against SFTSV. This finding suggests that most natural infections with SFTSV are mild or subclinical.’
Like many viruses, infection with SFTS appears to carry with it a wide range of illness – ranging from subclinical to mild to occasionally life-threatening.
Of course, you don’t have to travel to Asia to be exposed to a potentially serious tickborne disease. The CDC maintains a long (and growing) list of of tickborne pathogens available locally, including:
Babesiosis , Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Rickettsia parkeri Rickettsiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness), Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF), Tularemia, and 364D Rickettsiosis.
Whether traveling to exotic locales, or simply puttering around in your own backyard, it makes sense to take precautions against ticks and other vector-borne diseases summer.
For more help in that regard, the following CDC website offers advice on:
And for more on the growing constellation of tickborne illnesses, you may wish to revisit: