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Japan Reports First Death from Tick-Borne Oz Virus


A Japanese woman in her 70s has died in hospital, becoming the world’s first fatality from a tick-borne virus. Reports suggest that the woman contracted the Oz virus during the summer of 2022 after being bitten by an infected tick in Ibaraki province, located north of Tokyo.

The woman sought medical attention after developing typical flu-like symptoms, such as fever and fatigue. However, her condition worsened, and she was admitted to the hospital after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

Due to the severity of her illness, doctors carried out a thorough examination and discovered an engorged tick on her upper right thigh. Despite receiving treatment for the Oz virus, the woman died 26 days after being admitted to the hospital from myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle.



According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo, the Oz virus was first detected in Japan in the Amblyomma testudinarium tick species in 2018. This tick species is believed to be responsible for transmitting the virus, with its presence observed throughout a wide area of the country.

The Oz virus is potentially fatal, and at present, there is no vaccine available to prevent it. The National Institute of Infectious Diseases has emphasized the need for further research into the virus to better understand the symptoms and potential risks of this infection.



The current incident highlights the importance of taking precautions against tick bites, such as wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent when venturing into wooded areas or other tick-prone environments. (AA)


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