New Viral Infection Caused by Mites in Japan Claimed First Fatality Last Fall

Japan recorded its first death from a new viral infection last autumn, the health ministry said Wednesday.

The adult victim, a resident of Yamaguchi Prefecture, had no recent record of overseas travel or any apparent trace of a mite bite, even though the new viral infection, called severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome, is usually transmitted by such a bite.

The syndrome — characterized by symptoms such as nausea, depletion of blood platelets, a fall in appetite and headaches — can also be transmitted through contact with a victim’s blood and bodily fluids.

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