Insect bites kill 13 in China (Lead)September 10th, 2010 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, Sep 10 (IANS) At least 13 people have died and over 180 people have fallen ill after being bitten by blood-sucking insects in China, officials said Friday.
A total of 182 people in Shandong province have been bitten by ticks, the Shanghai Daily reported citing provincial health authorities.
Infection from tick bites reduces white blood cell and platelet counts in the blood, leading to organ failure and death.
Officials from the health department are now educating the public about the insects and training doctors for treatment of affected people.
Several deaths from tick bites have also been reported in Henan province.
Henan province’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said earlier this week that 18 people in the province had died of the disease. The victims were among 557 reported cases of suspected infection from tick bites.
Experts from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the Peking University First Hospital have been sent by the ministry of health to look into the outbreak in Henan.
“It is still difficult to pinpoint the pathogen of the disease since it may be caused by a new virus,” said Wang Shiwen of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cui Ning, a doctor at the infectious diseases ward of the hospital of the People’s Liberation Army, said: “The disease was, in many cases, wrongly diagnosed as cold, so many patients were not treated properly at first.”
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Tags: cdc, china officials, disease control and prevention, health department, infectious diseases, insect bites, insects, liberation army, ministry of health, new virus, organ failure, outbreak, pathogen, peking university, platelet counts, provincial health authorities, shandong province, tick bites, ticks, white blood cell