Pet owners at increased risk as deadly tick-borne disease spreads throughout Asia

The Telegraph reports on a deadly new tick-borne virus. It is not present in the UK, but it is spreading rapidly throughout Asia.

The new virus – severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) – is spread by tick bites, has a fatality rate around 30 per cent, no effective treatment, and should be treated as a biosafety level three pathogen, on a par with diseases such as Ebola.

"As well as being found in China and Japan, SFTS has now been confirmed on the Korean Peninsula, Taiwan and, last year, in Vietnam.

The primary clinical symptoms in humans are fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, low platelet count, a low white blood cell count, elevated liver enzyme levels and, ultimately, multiple organ failure."