Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare has confirmed that a woman who died last year was the world’s first fatality caused by the Oz virus, presumably transmitted by ticks. Health authorities in the Asian country have provided details of the case, noting that the patient, a woman in her 70s, died during the summer of last year.
According to local press reports, the woman, a resident of Ibaraki prefecture, went to a medical center with symptoms of fever and fatigue and was diagnosed with pneumonia. However, when her condition worsened and she was hospitalized, doctors discovered a swollen tick on her upper right thigh. After spending 26 days in the hospital, she finally passed away due to myocarditis caused by the Oz virus, which was first detected in 2018.
This tragic case confirms the existence of the Oz virus and its potential lethality for humans. Until now, no deaths related to this virus have been reported globally. It is believed that the tick found on the patient was the source of the disease’s transmission.
Japanese health authorities are taking steps to further investigate the Oz virus and its spread, as well as to inform and educate the public about the risks associated with ticks. The public is advised to take precautions when in areas where these parasites are common, such as avoiding direct contact with ticks and using appropriate repellents.
This case underscores the importance of surveillance and awareness of vector-borne diseases, such as those caused by ticks, and highlights the need for preventive measures and appropriate medical care to protect people’s health.