A dangerous tick has appeared in Hungary: it may carry a disease with a 30% mortality rate.
Every year, the WHO publishes a report on the potential pandemics. This report currently contains eight items. Penzcentrum.hu talked to Ferenc Jakab, a virologist professor and the head of the National Virological Laboratory of the University of Pécs, regarding the issue.
With this list, the WHO is drawing the attention of the international research community to accelerate research. According to penzcentrum.hu, the professor points out that there are two main types of epidemics:
The first is more dangerous from the point of view of a pandemic, such as the coronavirus. In the second case, the patient is almost immediately hospitalised and isolated following the diagnosis, at least in the developed world.
Among the aforementioned eight items on the list by the WHO is the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, which researchers have studied since the 1960s. It starts with high fever, muscle aches and headaches, and it can cause skin bleeding and capillary vessel dissection in the later stages.
The mortality rate is extremely high: 30%. What is more, the infection is transmitted by tick bites, according to Blikk.hu.
The tick species that spreads this disease has already appeared on the southern borders of Hungary.
The Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever research is also a major focus of the Pécs laboratory: they study ticks, other animals, rodents, and they conduct basic research on the virus, according to penzcentrum.hu.
According to Dr. István Zoltán Kapiller, veterinarian specialised in tick infestations,
Organised control of this tick species (Hyalomma marginatum) should start as soon as possible at national level. Several specimens have already been found in Budapest, even if no disease has been detected, but it should be noted that this species of tick can only be recognised by a specialist, and even GPs are not very good at distinguishing it from other species,
he told Blikk.hu.
Every year, the pandemic list includes a “disease X” caused by a virus that is not yet known but could trigger a major pandemic. The WHO includes disease X on its list to warn the world’s governments to be prepared for this event, just in case. In the end, this became the coronavirus of 2019.
Strange as it may sound, Professor Jakab says we were lucky to have COVID-19 because medical science already had a good understanding of SARS-CoV 1.
Finally, as we can read in Blikk.hu’s article, Ferenc Jakab said that in its laboratory, the University of Pécs conducts research on all known pathogens on the WHO list, in order to prepare for a possible emergency.
The cover picture is for illustration only.
Source: penzcentrum.hu, Blikk.hu