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SFTS Virus Outbreak in China from Ticks

Longhorned Ticks. Photo by James Occi, (PhD cand.) LDA Scientific & Professional Advisory Board
Longhorned Ticks. Photo by James Occi, (PhD cand.) LDA Scientific & Professional Advisory Board

Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (SFTS) cases first appeared in April 2020 in China and since then, 37 more cases have occurred in Jiangsu and 23 in Anhui Provinces in China. SFTS is a haemorrhagic fever transmitted by the Haemaphysalis longicornis tick (Asian longhorned tick). The disease spreads rapidly and has a high fatality rate so is of high concern to the World Health Organization (WHO). SFTS is a Phlebovirus.

Experts are now indicating possible transmission from humans via blood, the respiratory tract, and wounds and from infected animals to humans.

According to CDC, Emerging Infectious Diseases, outbreaks have been reported in China in 2009 and in S. Korea in 2012.  See https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/24/11/17-0756_article

Another Phlebovirus, Heartland virus, is found in the US. It is apparently transmitted by the lone star tick and is most similar to the SFTS virus. The Asian longhorned tick, which is transmitting SFTS virus in Asia, is found in the US in 12 states.

Novel bunyavirus re-emerges in China News.com.au

Tick-borne bunyavirus causing fever, hemorrhages spreading in China: Everything we know so farFirstpost.com

Asian Longhorned Tick Continues to Multiply, Can transmit to Animals in the Lab – LDA website

Heartland virus disease – CDC website