Mysterious Outbreak Of Virus Linked To Gruesome Religious Ritual

Doctors were puzzled when an outbreak of a little-known virus was reported among a group of 10 people living in London. They were non-drug users, had never received a blood transfusion, and presented no other identifiable risk factors for bloodborne viruses

The case was somewhat of a mystery, but then one of medical doctors observed extraordinary scars across one of the patient’s back. This led them to recognize a common yarn between all of the infected mortals: they were all Muslims who had taken part in a bloody blade-sharing religious ritual.

Reporting in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, scientists from Imperial College London and St Mary’s Hospital in London documented the spread of Human T-cell lymphotropic virus sort 1( HTLV-1) by self-flagellation.

All of the three men appeared to have acquired the blood-borne virus separately through a religious ritual that involves foisting wounds on oneself utilizing rods or whipping blades as an expression of faith in some Shia Islamic and Catholic communities.

One of the three men even recalled the blades being soaked in a pail of an antiseptic solution together with the blades are exploited by other males. While you might usurp this would be enough to sterilize the paraphernalium, the virus subsisted and was passed on to other men who proceeded to open curves with the blade

antiseptic solution
Shiite Muslims utilize chains and blades during ritual self-flagellation as part of the Ashura celebrations in the Arabian district of Varanasi, India. Jose HERNANDEZ/ Shutterstock

“It is likely that either sharing blood-stained blades, reusing personal material after inadequate clean with a shared antiseptic, contact of infected blood with open meanders, or linked with infected medical paraphernalium resulted in HTLV-1 dissemination, ” the study authors write.

HTLV-1 is actually a remote relative of HIV. The vast majority of people with HTLV-1 never display any indications, nonetheless, between 2 to 5 percent of infected people will develop a cancer of the T-cells, a type of white blood cell. Less than 2 percent of people with HTLV-1 will develop HAM/ TSP, a chronic disease of the nervous system. Unfortunately, there is no known medicine yet.

The most common cause of dissemination is breastfeeding, sharing needles, and sex transmitting. Medical doctors on the instance now argue that self-flagellation should be added to the roster of ways to spread a dangerous viral blood infection. They note that one of the three men also had contracted hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that can eventually result in life-threatening damage to the liver. Although fairly common in some parts of the world, this religious ritual has never been officially described as a risk factor, up to now.

“Our message is not ‘Don’t do it.’ Our letter is ‘If you do it, don’t share equipment, ” Dr Divya Dhasmana of St. Mary’s Hospital in London told The Associated Press.

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