What is the Hantavirus, Symptoms and Prevention? Can it also Cause an Outbreak?

It is said that misfortunes never come singly. While the world is still fighting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a new type of virus dubbed the Hantavirus has also emerged in China. The new deadly virus has killed one person so far.

A man from southwest China’s Yunnan Province died on Monday while traveling to Shandong Province in the east, the state-owned Global Times reported Tuesday.

The body of the man and 32 people who traveled on the bus were tested for the virus but the results were not clear.

The man’s death with yet another and much deadlier virus comes amid the outbreak of Covid-19 that has already infected over 400,000 and killed 15000 worldwide.

For the Hantavirus, the death rate among North American strains is 36%, much higher than the death rate for the new coronavirus, estimated by WHO at 3.4%.

As authorities examined the 32 passengers, people in the country worry they may face yet another viral outbreak.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hantaviruses are mainly spread across rodents, and HIV infection leads to hantavirus disease in humans.

Each strain of the Hantavirus is associated with host species of rodents. Hantaviruses are transmitted through what is known as airborne transmission and occur when the virus particles are transmitted from animal urine, faze or saliva into the air and infect the individual. In rare cases, a person may become infected with Hantavirus if bitten by an infected animal.

Experts believe that it is possible to get infected with the Hantavirus if a person touches his mouth or nose after dealing with a surface contaminated with urine, manure or saliva of an animal carrying the virus, such as a rat. Also, the disease can be transmitted to humans by eating food contaminated with urine or saliva feces.

There are multiple types of Hantavirus. For example, viruses in the Americas cause what is known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, while viruses in Europe or Asia can lead to hemorrhagic fever with Hantavirus nephrotic syndrome (kidney problems) ).

It was not yet known whether the man who died in China was at any stage of such problems.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hantaviruses in the United States can not be transmitted from person to person, while rare cases of person-to-person transmission have been documented in Chile and Argentina.

People tend to be infected with Hantavirus in rural areas such as forests, fields or farms where rodents live.

What are the symptoms?

symptoms of Hanta-pulmonary syndrome

  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches, especially in the thighs and hips.
  • Swivels
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach ache
  • Shortness of breath and cough.
  • Lung fluid.

38% of people infected with Hanta pulmonary syndrome die.

Symptoms of Hantavirus nephrotic syndrome

  • 1- Back pain.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Headache.
  • Chills.
  • Nausea.
  • Fever.
  • A blurry vision.
  • Redness of the face.
  • Low blood pressure and the occurrence of shock.
  • Acute renal failure.

Between 1 and 15% of patients die in this condition.

According to the National Library of Medicine of the United States, there is no specific treatment or vaccine for the Hantavirus. Patients may improve if they are diagnosed early and receive intensive care, often requiring respiration and oxygen therapy.

How contagious is the Hantavirus?

The good news is that the Hantavirus is unlikely to cause a major outbreak. It spreads through direct contact with infected rodents, not through human-to-human transmission.

Globally, for example, since January 2017, there have been only 728 cases of Hantavirus disease in the United States and very low cases in other countries.

So you probably don’t have to worry about Hantavirus, save this concern for potentially deadly highly contagious coronavirus, and turn this concern into useful action by adhering to the guidelines of your health authorities, washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water and adhering to personal hygiene guidelines.

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