Khorasan Disease hazardous but under control

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Tehran (ISNA) - An infectious disease specialist and head of Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Minoo Mohrez said that though the HTLV-1 virus belongs to the HIV-virus family, many HIV drugs have not been effective on it and no country has yet succeeded in developing some useful treatment, SinaPress reported.

“Like HIV, the transmission of HTLV-1 is via blood (common syringe), sexual contact, and mother-to-baby transmission,” the professor held.

“In Iran, HTLV-1 was first detected in Khorasan Province and at a time when there was no accurate knowledge of the virus, it was dubbed Khorasan Disease.”

“Khorasan was the first region in Iran where individuals’ bloods were monitored to identify the virus. Though HTLV-1 was observed in some other areas of our nation, most cases were reported in Khorasan,” Mohrez noted, adding, “Currently, HTLV-1 Virus Research Center is active at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences”.

Referring to the slow course of the disease, the scientist maintained that patients typically visit a neurologist with symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and insensitivity in their legs since they have difficulty in walking.

“Another disease caused by the virus is leukemia and if one or more members of a family are infected with it, the probability of the HTLV-1 virus in their blood must be explored”.

“Even before Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization tested individuals’ bloods for the HTLV-1 virus, in Khorasan they were monitored”.

“Despite the relatively high prevalence of HTLV-1 in the province, according to European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), the disease is under control due to the researchers’ attempts at HTLV-1 Virus Research Center at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences”.

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