Detecting a new infectious disease caused by a virus in Japan

Scientists in Japan have discovered a previously unknown virus that is notable for its ability to infect humans.

Detecting a new infectious disease caused by a virus in Japan
Artwork - Kyodo

Dubbed Yezo, the virus is related to the pathogens that cause Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and Nairobi sheep disease.

The first case of Yezo virus infection was recorded in Japan in 2019. According to the RT television channel, at that time, a 41-year-old man from the island of Hokkaido was hospitalized with symptoms of high fever and leg pain after getting sick. A tick bite while walking in the woods.

The patient was discharged after two weeks of treatment and tested negative for all tick-borne viruses ever recorded.

Then, a team of experts at Hokkaido University, including virologist Keita Matsuno, analyzed the patient's blood sample and found a new virus. Yezo virus can cause a fever as high as 39 degrees Celsius, reducing platelets and white blood cells in the blood.

Mr. Matsuno's team published the results of the study in the late September issue of Nature Communications. The Yero virus is believed to belong to the nairo virus family of 15 different strains. Four of them can transmit diseases to humans, especially Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever with muscle aches, diarrhea and subcutaneous hemorrhage. Severely infected people can have impaired liver function, even death.

The new virus discovered in Japan is most closely related to the Sulina virus in Romania and the Tamdy virus in Uzbekistan. According to research published in 2020, the Tamdy virus has caused an acute fever epidemic in China in recent years.

The expert team continued to analyze blood samples of some other patients with similar symptoms from 2014. As a result, at least 7 people have been infected with Yezo virus since that year, but so far no deaths have been recorded. any.

The scientists also detected Yezo virus RNA in three major tick species throughout Hokkaido. Antibodies to the Yezo virus have also been found in the blood of deer and raccoons living on this northern Japanese island.

The team plans to track the potential distribution of the Yezo virus in humans and animals across the country.

Google Tech News

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