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Background: Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease discovered in China in 2009. In July 2013, the first human infection with SFTS virus (SFTSV) was detected in Shaanxi Province, Western China. Methods: A seroprevalence study among humans was carried out in an SFTS endemic village; specifically, serum samples were collected from 363 farmers in an SFTS endemic village in Shaanxi Province. The presence of SFTSV antibodies in serum was determined using an ELISA. Results: SFTSV antibodies were found in a total of 20 people (5.51%), with no significant difference between males and females (6.93% and 4.42%, respectively; Chi-square = 1.29, p = 0.25). Moreover, the SFTSV antibody positive rate was not significantly different across different age groups (Chisquare = 2.23, p = 0.69). Conclusions: SFTSV readily infects humans with outdoor exposure. The results of the serological study indicate that the virus circulates widely in Shaanxi Province. SFTSV represents a public health threat in China.


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Int J Infect Dis, 35 37-9. doi:

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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