A Japanese woman has died of a tick-borne disease believed to have been caused by bite from a stray cat.
This is serious cat news from Japan. It is unexpected. It is perhaps the first case of this kind of mammal to human transmission. But it is not yet certain.
It has been reported that the 50+ year old woman was bitten by a sick cat last summer. Ironically and sadly, she was taking the cat for treatment to a veterinary hospital.
The woman died within ten days. Shocking. She died of Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (SFTS) we are told by the Japanese media.
The viral disease is carried by a tick species commonly found in Central Asia and China. It was decided that the woman got the disease from her cat as she had no tick bites. The fact is that she might not have got the disease from her cat. I’d like to see more certainty. I have a feeling that this is scaremongering.
“…it’s possible that it is the first case..” (Japanese health ministry official)
This particular virus is quite new in Japan. The first case was reported in 2013. There have been 266 cases since then. Fifty-seven have been fatal. The fatality rate is up to 30%.
Source: Telegraph newspaper.