A South Korean woman, 64, died while receiving treatment for a tick-borne virus called “severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome,” in North Jeolla Province on Monday.
According to the health authorities, seven patients have been diagnosed in North Jeolla Province, and five of them, including the latest victim, died from SFTS.
The woman suffered from fever and nausea and was tested positive for SFTS on June 21. Health authorities speculate that the woman was bitten by a tick on the lawn of her house.
There are 56 people infected with SFTS in the country, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2017, there were 270 reported cases of SFTS (54 deaths), up from 2016 when there were 165 cases of reported SFTS (19 deaths), according to the KCDC.
SFTS infections tend to occur from April to November, when people do more outdoor activities. Symptoms include fever, nausea, diarrhea and drowsiness after the virus is latent for two to six weeks. There is currently no vaccine for SFTS so doctors can only treat the symptoms.
By Chyung Eun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org