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Man dies from Japanese spotted fever after tick bite

A tick. (Photo from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases website)

OTSU -- A man in his 50s from the Shiga Prefecture city of Omihachiman who developed Japanese spotted fever after getting bit by a tick has died, the Shiga Prefectural Government announced Oct. 9.

This is the first case of a person in Shiga Prefecture developing Japanese spotted fever or dying from it since such record keeping began in 1999.

Japanese spotted fever is transmitted by being bit by an ixodid tick possessing the bacteria. After an incubation period of two to eight days, patients develop symptoms such as fever, rashes on their hands and feet, and sluggishness.

According to the prefectural government's pharmaceuticals and infection control section, the man developed a fever and rashes on his hands and feet on Sept. 6, and was hospitalized Sept. 13. He died the following day due to multiple organ failure. It is unknown when or where he was bit by a tick. The man's mother, who is in her 80s and lived with him, also developed the same symptoms and was hospitalized Sept. 13, but recovered.

The prefectural government is calling on the public to wear long sleeves and long pants when going into grassy areas, and to visit a medical facility when bit by a tick instead of trying to remove the tick on one's own.

(Japanese original by Akiho Narimatsu, Otsu Bureau)

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