Fourth death linked to tick confirmed

Kyodo

The health ministry said Tuesday that an adult male was confirmed dead after being infected with a tick-borne disease in Hiroshima Prefecture last summer, bringing the death toll from thrombocytopenia syndrome, or SFTS, in the country to four.

The victim is believed to have been domestically infected with SFTS, which leads to a severe fever, as the genetic sequence of the causal virus was analogous to those found in the previous three cases, involving a woman in Yamaguchi Prefecture and two males in Ehime and Miyazaki prefectures, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Since the first death was reported in January, the ministry has been gathering information on patients exhibiting similar symptoms nationwide, including samples of their blood.

With the ministry awaiting the outcome of examinations on nine people as of Tuesday, it is likely the number of confirmed cases of infection will rise even further.