Dangerous emerging infectious disease appears in China city

CHINA - A patient in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, was found infected with the SFTS (severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome) virus this month without knowing the cause of the infection, according to Qianjiang Evening News.

The patient, surnamed Chen, had a fever on May 6 and his gums started to bleed four days later. The 47-year-old was diagnosed on May 15. Chen was the first patient this year in China to be infected.

The virus is an emerging infectious disease first seen in China in 2009. It has a fatality rate of 12 per cent. It is believed that most cases were caused by tick bites and usually occur in mountainous areas from May to July.

The major clinical symptoms are vomiting, diarrhoea, multiple organ failure, low platelet count, low white blood cell count and elevated liver enzyme levels.

However, Chen who works in a factory in Ningbo, denied being in any tick-infested area and no bite marks were found on his body.

Local health department warned that May to August is tick season and people should avoid long periods in wooded areas.