Japan Reports World’s 1st Oz Virus Symptom Case in Human

Tokyo, June 23 (Jiji Press)—Japan’s health ministry Friday reported the world’s first case in which a human was found to have developed symptoms as a result of infection with the Oz virus.

A woman in the eastern prefecture of Ibaraki who died last year of heart muscle inflammation was found to have been infected with the virus, the ministry said.

The woman in her 70s consulted a medical institution in Ibaraki, near Tokyo, last summer after experiencing symptoms including fatigue and vomiting. Suspecting pneumonia, the medical institution gave her medical treatment and asked her to wait for recovery at home.

As her condition worsened, the woman was later admitted to a hospital, where staff found tick bites at the base of her right thigh. She died of heart muscle inflammation on the 26th day of being hospitalized. The Oz virus was found in her cardiac muscle cells.

According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan first detected the Oz virus in 2018. But there had been no confirmed case of a person developing symptoms or dying due to the virus, while antibody test results suggested the possibility that some wild animals, such as monkeys and boars, and humans were infected.