Japanese Scientists Have Discovered a New Virus
In 2014, the first cases of infection with an unknown pathogen were recorded in Japan. Until 2020, seven patients with similar symptoms were recorded. The course of the disease was characterized by fever, and the number of leukocytes and platelets in the blood of patients decreased.
Japanese researchers isolated the virus from blood samples from two patients, which allowed for a genetic analysis of the pathogen. Scientists found out that the blood of the infected contained a previously unknown pathogen from the genus Orthonairovirus. The Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever virus also belongs to this species.
In 2019, on the island of Hokkaido, two patients who were feverish after a tick bite went to the hospital. A blood test showed that the bitten people were infected with an unknown virus. After that, the scientists rechecked the blood samples of patients who had been treated with similar symptoms since 2014. The researchers found seven cases of Yezo infection.
To determine the source of the virus, the researchers screened samples collected from wild animals in the area. Antibodies to the virus were found in samples of spotted deer and raccoons collected between 2010 and 2020. In addition, the researchers found the virus RNA in the main species of ticks of Hokkaido Island.