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Kyoto Pref. man falls unconscious after suspected tick bite

A hard tick in seen in this photo from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases' website.

KYOTO -- A man in the western Japan prefecture of Kyoto is reported to have fallen unconscious after developing severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS), a condition mainly caused by bites from hard ticks, according to information released by the Kyoto Prefectural Government on July 2.

The man, in his 80s, is a resident in an area under the jurisdiction of the Tango Health Center in the northern part of the prefecture. He reportedly developed a fever on June 24, and consulted a doctor on June 28.

His case marks the first SFTS infection recorded in the prefecture in 2020. In 2017 and 2018, a total of three residents, from the cities of Miyazu and Maizuru, tested positive for the deadly virus.

Ticks are active from spring to autumn, and the prefectural government is warning people to watch out for them when in grassy or forested areas. In the event that a tick does bite and latch on to someone, pulling the tick out incorrectly will increase the risk of contracting SFTS. The authorities recommend that people go to hospital with the insect still attached so that they can receive appropriate treatment.

(Japanese original by Yasuhiro Okawa, Kyoto Bureau)

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