Tick-borne virus spreads in Finland, 4 European countries

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The Alongshan virus (ALSV) carried by ticks has now spread across much of Europe, according to German experts, reported dpa.

The virus, which was discovered in China six years ago, has been found in ticks in Finland, France, Russia, Switzerland and now Germany, the Centre for Travel Medicine (CRM) in Dusseldorf confirmed.

The virus, however, has not been linked to any serious illnesses in humans.

Researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine (TIHO) in the northern German city of Hanover found evidence of ALSV transmission via ticks to wild animals like deer in Germany's north-western state of Lower Saxony.

"The distribution areas of many native tick species have expanded significantly in recent years," said the scientific director of the CRM, Tomas Jelinek.

Recent mild winters and warmer summers are benefiting the arachnids, he said following the publication of a corresponding study in the scientific journal Microorganisms.

However, ALSV has currently not been associated with anything worse than flu-like symptoms.

The most common tick-borne disease in Europe is Lyme disease, which can be treated with antibiotics in the early stages. Early summer meningoencephalitis (FSME) is also particularly widespread in many areas, but can be vaccinated against.

  •  Tick-borne
  •  Virus
  •  Finland
  •  Europe

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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