New Chinese virus has “alarmingly high” mortality rate

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists explain how a previously unknown and dangerous virus carried by tics has been responsible for seasonal outbreaks of the disease in six of China’s most populated provinces.

The disease first came to attention five years ago, when large numbers of farmers in central China began falling victim to a mysterious disease marked by high fever, gastrointestinal disorder and a mortality rate initially estimated at 30 percent.

Chinese investigators initially concluded that it had been caused by human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), a bacteria transmitted by tick bites. Now, however, subsequent research has shown this to be incorrect, and that a previously unknown virus has been responsible.

“We expected to find a bacterial infection behaving in an unexpected way – human anaplasmosis has a less than one percent fatality rate in the U.S., and it rarely causes abdominal pain or vomiting or diarrhea,” said Dr. Xue-Jie Yu of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, lead author of the paper detailing the discovery. “Instead, we found an unknown virus.”

The newly discovered pathogen has been dubbed Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome virus. It has been placed in the Bunyaviridae family, along with the hantaviruses and Rift Valley Fever virus.

Yu, a specialist in tick-borne diseases, first suspected that a virus might be responsible for the outbreaks after close examination of patients’ clinical data showed big differences from symptoms produced by HGA, and blood sera drawn from patients revealed no HGA or HGA antibodies.

Yu became certain that a virus was at fault after sera taken from patients retained its ability to kill cells, despite being passed through a filter that blocked all bacteria. Still, initial genetic tests failed to generate a match with a known pathogen. “Clearly, we had a virus, but what virus?” Yu said. “I told the people I was working with that they needed to be even more careful, because we were working with an unknown.”

That caution seemed appropriate when electron microscope studies of deactivated virus particles revealed what appeared to be a hantavirus. But when Yu and his colleagues managed to extract the virus’ entire genetic code, they found that it didn’t match any other known virus.

Tellingly, the scientists found the new virus in 10 out of 186 ticks collected from farm animals in the area where the patients lived. “This seems to be a tick-borne disease, and the disease comes out when the ticks come out, from late March to late July,” Yu said. “Fortunately, even though the full life cycle is not clear, we know that for the virus humans are a dead end – we don’t have human-to-human transmission as we did with SARS.”

Related:
Biodiversity now a public health issue
Big Problems From Small Avian Flu Mutations
Key HIV/SARS Mechanism Revealed

Source: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

, ,

Comments are closed.

The Media Is The Virus Sticker Conservative  Bumper Sticker political stickers picture

The Media Is The Virus Sticker Conservative Bumper Sticker political stickers

$3.99



Web of Spider-Man #90  1992 NEWSSTAND  & FCBD Spider-Man #1 2020 1st Virus picture

Web of Spider-Man #90 1992 NEWSSTAND & FCBD Spider-Man #1 2020 1st Virus

$12.00



Apі complex

Apі complex "Stop virus" beekeeping product antivirus 100% natural from Ukraine

$89.00



Jewish Amulet Handwritten Protecting Medicine Against C Virus Disease picture

Jewish Amulet Handwritten Protecting Medicine Against C Virus Disease

$77.00



Virus Movie TP 1995 NM Reg Cvr 1st print Dark Horse picture

Virus Movie TP 1995 NM Reg Cvr 1st print Dark Horse

$49.99



Virus Movie TP 1998 Jamie Lee Curtis NM Movie Cvr 1st print Dark Horse picture

Virus Movie TP 1998 Jamie Lee Curtis NM Movie Cvr 1st print Dark Horse

$39.99



Decision 2016 JOHN McAfee Presidential Candidate Card #14 Anti Virus  picture

Decision 2016 JOHN McAfee Presidential Candidate Card #14 Anti Virus

$2.00



1985 GARBAGE PAIL KIDS STICKERS #21A VIRUS IRIS SERIES 1 PSA 7 N3963701-804 picture

1985 GARBAGE PAIL KIDS STICKERS #21A VIRUS IRIS SERIES 1 PSA 7 N3963701-804

$25.99



Venom #26 Kael Ngu Red Virgin Variant 1st App of Virus 2020 NM/NM- picture

Venom #26 Kael Ngu Red Virgin Variant 1st App of Virus 2020 NM/NM-

$29.99



Secret Service Corona Virus Task Force Ready Reserve Team Challenge Coin picture

Secret Service Corona Virus Task Force Ready Reserve Team Challenge Coin

$119.99



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes