SFTS occurs in China's rural areas from March to November with the majority of cases from April to July. In 2013, Japan and Korea also reported several cases with deaths.
In July 2013, South Korea reported a death toll of 8 since Aug 2012.
In July 2017, Japanese doctors reported that a woman had died of SFTS after being bitten by a cat that may have itself infected by a tick. The woman had no visible tick bites, leading doctors to believe that the cat — which died as well — was the transmission vector.
The virus originated 50–150 years ago and has undergone a recent population expansion.
In 2009 Xue-jie Yu and colleagues isolated the SFTS virus (SFTSV) from SFTS patients’ blood.
^Lam TT, Liu W, Bowden TA, Cui N, Zhuang L, Liu K, Zhang YY, Cao WC, Pybus OG (2013) Evolutionary and molecular analysis of the emergent severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus. Epidemics 5(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.epidem.2012.09.002