A new infectious disease has claimed seven lives and infected 60 people in China. The state-run Global Times reported on Wednesday, warning people of transmission of the virus from person-to-person.
A total of 37 people in East China's Jiangsu Province have been diagnosed with Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (SFTS) this year, a disease caused by the Novel Bunyavirus which is spread by ticks, a form of arachnids.
According to the report, the virus can be transmitted from infected animals or people to others via blood or mucus, respiratory tract and wounds, Sheng Jifang, director of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine told the media. Jifang is also an expert on the novel bunyavirus.
Jifang mentioned a patient from East China, who succumbed to the virus three years ago but had infected 16 other people who came in contact with the dead body, out of which one of the infected later died.
Now that the virus has claimed seven lives in the country, medical professionals have advised people to follow the necessary precautions.
People are also advised not to go into the jungle or bushy areas. "Fortunately, ticks can't fly. It should be safe just to avoid their territory," Jifang said.
SFTS Virus is not a new virus. China isolated the pathogen of the virus in 2011, and it belongs to the Bunyavirus category. According to the report, novel bunyavirus infections increase significantly in summer when the ticks breed actively and can cause a local epidemic.
Virologists believe the virus to have passed on to humans by ticks and it's the possibility of transmission between humans, with older people being more prone to contract the infection. But if people take necessary protective measures, there can be no panic-stricken situation, the report added.