Japan reports world’s first death from Oz virus

A woman in her seventies died Friday in Japan’s capital, Tokyo, after contracting the Oz virus, reported Japanese authorities.

This incident marks the world’s first fatality caused by this tick-borne infection.

The virus was initially discovered in Japan in 2018, with previous cases observed in both humans and wild animals. However, this is the first confirmed instance of the virus affecting a human.

In 2022, the woman sought medical attention after experiencing symptoms such as fever and fatigue. Initially diagnosed with pneumonia, her condition deteriorated, leading to hospitalization.

During her hospitalization, an engorged tick was discovered on her upper right thigh. The woman passed away 26 days after being admitted, succumbing to myocarditis—an inflammation of the heart muscle.

The Oz virus remains exclusive to Japan and has not been identified in other regions. As of now, there is no available vaccine against this virus, as reported by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo.

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