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El extraño virus que se contagió por primera vez de mamífero a humano

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Japón confirmó esta semana la muerte de una mujer mordida por un gato infectado.

El Ministerio de Sanidad de Japón confirmó esta semana el primer caso de transmisión del virus SFTSV (siglas de "Bunyavirus del Síndrome de Fiebre Grave con Trombocitopenia") de un mamífero a un humano.

Ocurrió el año pasado, cuando una mujer de 50 años fue mordida por un gato callejero al que había recogido para llevar a un veterinario. Ella murió diez días después de la mordedura por la alta fiebre y otros síntomas graves causados por el virus para el que no existe tratamiento.

El SFTSV fue identificado por primera vez en China en el 2010 y los primeros contagios se registraron en Japón en el 2013. Sin embargo, hasta ahora, todos los casos detectados en humanos –la mayoría en zonas rurales de China– se habían dado en pacientes que habían recibido picaduras de garrapatas.

Hasta ahora se han registrado 266 infecciones de SFTS en humanos en Japón, de los cuales 57 han muerto, mientras que en China se han dado varios centenares de casos, principalmente en el centro y el noreste del país, y en Corea del Sur se han detectado también varias decenas de contagios.

El doctor Salim Máttar, director del Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas del Trópico, de la Universidad de Córdoba, le dijo a EL TIEMPO que desde el año pasado en esa institución investigan la presencia del virus SFTSV y del HRTV –otro muy similar– en garrapatas capturadas de ganado bovino, caprinos y de animales domésticos como perros y gatos.
“Las garrapatas que transmiten los virus SFTSF y HRTV están en Colombia y dado que los virus evolucionaron dentro de los vectores (garrapatas) hace miles de años, es muy probable que dichos microorganismos se encuentren en el país. La transmisión zoonotica (animal a humano) es poco probable como sucedió en Japón, pero como se sabe tan poco de estos virus no se pueden descartar ese mecanismo”, explicó a este diario.

Los principales síntomas que provoca son fiebre, trombocitopenia, problemas gastrointestinales y leucopenia, y su mortalidad se sitúa entre el 12 y el 30 por ciento de los casos.

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