Bhanja virus has killed three people in Japan
The Bhanja virus is a serogroup member of the Bhanja virus serocomplex. The clinical condition it causes in humans is called “severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome” or SFTS. Its fatality rate is 12% to 30% of patients suffering bites by the tick borne phlebovirus in the family Bunyaviridae. SFTS causes chrombocytopenia or low platelet count and leukopenia or low white blood cell count.
On July 24, 2017, Japanese health authorities confirmed that a 50-some-year-old woman in western Japan was bitten by a feral cat in 2016, and ten days later, she died from the bite that transmitted the Bhanja virus.
On July 11, 2017, a 70-year-old man in Hokkaido was bitten by the Bhanja tick borne virus and died from encephalitis. In August, 2016, Japanese health authorities diagnosed the country’s first case of human death from the Bhanja virus infection.