China virus outbreak: New tick-borne virus confirmed with at least 7 dead and 67 infected

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China virus outbreak: New tick-borne virus confirmed with at least 7 dead and 67 infected
Virologists have warned the infection, known as ‘Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome’ (SFTS) can be transmitted through humans (Image: GETTY )

By REBECCA PERRING
(EXPRESS UK) — China has been hit by a which has killed seven people and infected 67 others, it has been claimed.

The contagious virus, which is transmitted through tick bites, is said to be spreading across East China at an alarming rate, according to local media. Virologists have warned the infection, known as ‘Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome’ (SFTS) can be transmitted through humans.

Symptoms include fever, coughing, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches and previous medical examinations on patients have shown a low platelet count and a decline of leukocyte in the blood.

Chinese media report the virus has so far infected 67 people and killed at least seven.

Global Times reported more than 37 people in East China’s Jiangsu Province contracted the virus in the first half of the year while 23 people were also infected in East China”s Anhui province.

Reports said at least seven people have died after contracting the disease in Anhui and East China”s Zhejiang province.

Dr Sheng Jifang, working at the Zhejiang University, said that the possibility of human-to-human transmission, via blood or mucus, could not be ruled out.

Doctors attempted to quell panic, saying the tick bite was the major transmission route and urged people to remain cautious.

The news comes as China remains gripped in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic as the invisible killer disease continues to spread in the country it originated in December last year.

At least 708,279 people globally have died from COVID-19 and 18,905,220 have been infected by the killer virus following an outbreak that started in Wuhan in early December.

The World Health Organization referred to it as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

China reported 37 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for August 5, up from 27 a day earlier, the country’s health commission said on Thursday.

Seven of the new infections were imported cases, versus five a day earlier, according to a statement by the National Health Commission.

The commission also reported 20 new asymptomatic patients, compared with 24 a day earlier.

As of August 5, mainland China had 84,528 confirmed coronavirus cases.

The COVID-19 death toll remained at 4,634.

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