The Grapevine

New Tick-Borne Disease From Alongshan Virus Discovered: What Researchers Know So Far

A new disease has been discovered and it is carried and transmitted by ticks. Medical researchers in northeastern China released a report that updates the list of diseases people should watch out for when they come into contact with ticks. 

A study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, highlights the fever- and headache-causing disease from the Alongshan virus (ALSV). In Inner Mongolia and the province of Heilongjiang in China, at least 86 people have already been confirmed with the infection carried by ticks, reported

Luckily, ALSV does not lead to life-threatening conditions, the researchers noted in the study. 

“Neither permanent clinical complications nor death occurred among patients with confirmed infection,” the researchers said. 

Ticks in the U.S.

The U.S. previously saw the significant impact of disease-carrying ticks in 2017. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the time reported 59,349 cases of tick-borne diseases. 

The arachnids are commonly linked to the spread of Lyme disease. However, the CDC issued a list of 15 other diseases being carried by ticks, including Bourbon Virus and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

The National Institute of Health also marked tick-borne diseases as among its top priorities. The organization launched efforts to prevent tick bites. 

People can reduce the risk of contracting the diseases from ticks by wearing clothes that cover the extremities. Also, people are urged to observe themselves and family members for ticks after spending time outdoors. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2018 announced $600,000 in annual funding to support Staten Island in campaigns against ticks after a 250 percent rise in cases of Lyme disease between 2012 and 2016 was reported.

De Blasio said the situation lead to the most “aggressive tick control policy of the history of New York City.” 

There are 30,000 new cases of Lyme disease being reported by state health departments and the District of Columbia in the U.S. every year, according to the CDC. The agency noted that other estimates show there are up to 300,000 people at risk of getting the disease each year in the country. 

“However, this number does not reflect every case of Lyme disease that is diagnosed in the United States every year,” the CDC said. “Surveillance systems provide vital information but they do not capture every illness.” 

Ticks Researchers discovered a new disease being carried by ticks in China. Pixabay