A possible first case of transmission of a dangerous virus from a cat to a woman

This is an alarming discovery. Japan has confirmed a possible first case of transmitting a mammal to humans from a dangerous virus called SFTS (syndrome of severe fever with thrombocytopenia) initially carried by ticks, after the death last year of a woman bitten by a stray cat.

Aged about fifty, she died about ten days after driving the sick feline to the vet. Since then, the health authorities have discovered that she has contracted SFTS (severe fever syndrome with thrombocytopenia) despite the absence of any insect stings on her body.

Dangerous viruses: A death rate of about 20%

This infection, which appeared relatively recently in Asia (Japan, China and South Korea), is diagnosed every year on about 60 patients in the Japanese archipelago, with a mortality rate of about 20%, according to the Ministry of Health. “So far, no case of transmission of a mammal to humans had been reported,” said Tuesday a spokesman for the ministry.

“Until now, no case of transmission of a mammal to humans had been reported,” said Tuesday to AFP a spokesman for the ministry.

“It is not yet confirmed that the virus comes from the cat, but it is possible that this is the first global case” of this type, she added.

No treatment or vaccine is available against SFTS, a syndrome that manifests as high fever, vomiting and diarrhea, multi-organ failure or even behavioral problems.

The best way to reduce the risk of infection is to avoid being bitten by ticks,” said the ministry who asked the residents to be vigilant not caressing the suspect animals.

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