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CHINA:Warning that new tick disease is highly infectious

Monday, August 15, 2011

Laaska News  August 15,2011
BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhuanet) — A newly discovered tick-borne disease may endanger people in close contact with carriers of the lethal virus, the Ministry of Health warned.

The warning came amid a promise to upgrade blood-testing facilities nationwide.

The emerging tick-borne disease, known as “fever-thrombocytopenia syndrome”, is caused by an offshoot of the Bunia virus.

This virus may cause victims to suffer from liver and kidney failure and can result in internal bleeding.

The body fluids of people who fall victim to the disease are highly infectious.

Patients should be treated in isolation wards, according to a guideline on the ministry’s website on Friday.

Unless adequate precautions are taken, people in close contact with carriers need to be put under a 14-day quarantine regime. If there are any signs of fever a doctor or the health authorities should be immediately informed and given as much detailed information as possible.

More than 280 cases of the tick-borne disease have been reported in central and eastern provinces, including Henan, Hubei, Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu, according to statistics from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The disease has already claimed the lives of more than 10 people. Ninety percent of the victims of the disease were more than 40 years old and farmers accounted for 90 percent of these cases, the CDC said.

The CDC said that most of the victims suffered nausea, fatigue and a lack of appetite. The disease reduces white blood cell and platelet counts, which can lead to organ failure and death.

However, Pang Xinghuo, deputy head of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told China Daily on Sunday that residents in the capital do not need to worry.

Laaska News.