A previously unknown infectious disease emerged in Japan, and experts at Hokkaido University dubbed it the Yezo virus. A person may get infected through tick bites.
Two Recent Patients Infected By Unknown Disease
According to virologist Keita Matsuno when she talked to Earth.com, she said that since 2014, at least seven people got infected with the new virus, and no deaths have been confirmed. However, it was only in 2019 when the Yezo virus was discovered after a 41-year-old man was treated at a hospital in Sapporo, Japan, for fever, loss of appetite, and lower limb pain on both sides following a tick bite while he went for a walk at a forest per a report from Gizmodo. Gizmodo added that the man started to have symptoms four days after visiting the forest and three days after finding a tick attached to his right abdomen.
The man spent 14 days in the hospital, but the tests showed he was not infected with any known disease. Months after, a second patient was infected with the same virus. Gizmodo shared that the patient went to two hospitals before going to the hospital in Sapporo, Japan.
The other symptom of the virus is lowered levels of blood platelets and leukocytes.
Experts Reveal What They Know So Far
Earth continued to report that the Yezo virus is an orthnairovirus, a type of nairovirus and relative of the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. Scientists identified that the virus traces were found in both of the blood samples of the patients mentioned above. Scientists studied the virus and found that antibodies are found in raccoons and deer as they may have been previously infected by it.
Further studies showed that the virus is found in three species of tick in the Hokkaido area. Earth quoted Matsuno saying, “All of the cases of Yezo virus infection we know of so far did not turn into fatalities, but the disease is likely found beyond Hokkaido, so we need to investigate its spread urgently.”