Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome

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Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome
Bunyavirus china.JPG
SFTS bunyavirus isolated from patients in Central and Northeast provinces of China (red)
SpecialtyInfectious disease

Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease recently discovered in northeast and central China. SFTS has fatality rates ranging from 12% to as high as 30% in some areas. The major clinical symptoms of SFTS are fever, vomiting, diarrhea, multiple organ failure, thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), leucopenia (low white blood cell count), and elevated liver enzyme levels.


SFTS virus (SFTSV) is a phlebovirus in the family of Bunyaviridae. Person-to-person transmission was not noted in early reports[1] but has since been documented.[2]

The life cycle of the SFTSV most likely involves arthropod vectors and animal hosts. Humans appear to be largely accidental hosts. SFTSV has been detected in Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks.


SFTS occurs in China's rural areas from March to November with the majority of cases from April to July. In 2013, Japan and Korea also reported several cases with deaths.[3]

In July 2013, South Korea reported a death toll of 8 since Aug 2012.[4]

In July 2017, Japanese doctors reported that a woman had died of SFTS after being bitten by a cat that may have itself infected by a tick. The woman had no visible tick bites, leading doctors to believe that the cat — which died as well — was the transmission vector.[5][6]


The virus originated 50–150 years ago and has undergone a recent population expansion.[7]


In 2009 Xue-jie Yu and colleagues isolated the SFTS virus (SFTSV) from SFTS patients’ blood.


  1. ^ Yu XJ, Liang MF, Zhang SY, Liu Y, Li JD, Sun YL, et al. Fever with Thrombocytopenia Associated with a Novel Bunyavirus in China. N Engl J Med. 2011 Apr 21;364(16):1523-32.
  2. ^ Liu, Yan; Li, Qun; Hu, Wanfu; Wu, Jiabin; Wang, Yubi; Mei, Ling; Walker, David H.; Ren, Jun; Wang, Yu (February 2012). "Person-to-person transmission of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus". Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.). 12 (2): 156–160. doi:10.1089/vbz.2011.0758. ISSN 1557-7759. PMID 21955213.
  3. ^ Severe fever w/ thrombocytopenia synd. - Japan, South Korea: update Archive Number: 20130526.1738022
  4. ^ "S. Korea says death toll from tick-borne virus rises to 8 | YONHAP NE…".
  5. ^ "Japanese woman dies from tick disease after cat bite". BBC News. 2017-07-25. Retrieved 2017-07-25.
  6. ^ "Japanese woman died from tick-borne illness after cat bite, health ministry says". Japan Times. 2017-07-25. Retrieved 2017-07-25.
  7. ^ Lam TT, Liu W, Bowden TA, Cui N, Zhuang L, Liu K, Zhang YY, Cao WC, Pybus OG (2013) Evolutionary and molecular analysis of the emergent severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus. Epidemics 5(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.epidem.2012.09.002

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