What is Hantavirus?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hantavirus is a family of viruses which spread mainly by rodents and can cause varying diseases in people. Is a respiratory disease that can be fatal in some cases. The new virus can cause pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).
A man in China has reportedly died after catching hantavirus, man belongs to Yunnan Province southwest China, died on Monday while he was traveling to Shandong Province in the east, the state-run Global Times newspaper reported.
It appeared the man was screened for the bug after he died. A further 32 people on the bus he was onboard were tested for the virus, which is rarely passed from human to human. The results of the tests were unclear. The individual was not named in the report, and his cause of death was not stated.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, members of the family of Hantavirus pathogens are mainly spread by rodents. “Infection with any hantavirus can produce hantavirus disease in people,” CDC reported.
Hantavirus: Initial and Late Symptoms
Flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache, abdominal pain, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems are early symptoms of Hantavirus while late symptoms include lungs filled with fluid and shortness of breath.
As per the MayoClinic, the Hantavirus advances through two distinct stages. The initial stage is characterised by flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills, headaches, muscle aches, etc. and therefore it is difficult to distinguish from influenza, pneumonia or other viral conditions.
But after four to 10 days, Hantavirus is characterised by more serious signs and symptoms such as a cough that produces secretions, shortness of breath, fluid accumulation within the lungs, low blood pressure, and reduced heart efficiency.
Hantavirus: Preventive Measures
According to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hantavirus infections can be prevented by controlling the rodent population. CDC suggests sealing up holes and gaps, if any, in your home or garage and place traps in and around your home to decrease rodent infestation.
There is no specific treatment, cure, or vaccine for hantavirus infection. However, infected individuals if recognized at an early stage and receive medical care in an intensive care unit, they may do better, as per the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It must be noted that many people who became ill with hantavirus reported that they had not seen rodents or rodent droppings at all. Therefore, if you live in an area where the carrier rodents are known to live, try to keep your home, vacation place, workplace, or campsite clean.