Japan’s 1st Human-to-Human Transmission of Tick-Borne Syndrome Confirmed

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases has confirmed Japan’s first case of human-to-human transmission of severe febrile thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS), a viral infection transmitted by ixodid ticks, it announced Tuesday.

The infected person was a male doctor in his 20s, according to the institute. He was in charge of a male patient in his 90s who was diagnosed with SFTS in April last year. After the patient died, the doctor removed the man’s intravenous drip. Nine days later, the doctor developed a 38 C fever and other symptoms and was diagnosed with SFTS.

The genes of the two men’s viruses were found to be identical, and it was determined that the infection was person-to-person. The doctor’s symptoms have been improved.

Cases of person-to-person transmission of SFTS have been reported in China and South Korea.