First ever SFTS infection discovered in Okinawa
The Okinawa Prefecture Health and Longevity Division announced Wednesday that a man in his 60’s has come down with a severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS), a viral infection originating in northeastern China, and is undergoing treatment in a health center in the Chubu area. The case is the first ever in Okinawa.
The man is believed to have contacted the disease through a tick bite. Ticks often exist in the forests and fields. Many people are expected to go to those places during the summer, and health officials advise people to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and to use insect repellants.
The infected man is now in the hospital recovering, and is expected to be able to leave the hospital in a few days. Officials are researching the infection source as he is believed to be infected on Okinawa.
The symptoms include fever, anorexia, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as headache and sore muscles. The incubation period is 6-14 days. More than 200 such infections have been reported mainly in western Japan. An infection of an elderly person might lead to death.