After Coronavirus, Another Deadly Virus Reported In China

Grant Boone
March 24, 2020

The last major outbreak of hantavirus was in Argentina a year ago when 11 people died in the south Ameican nation following which the World Health Organization (WHO) had issued a warning.

The US centres for disease control and prevention (CDC) states clearly that the greatest risk of contracting either of the two hantavirus-related diseases is by being in contact with one of the four following types of rodents - the cotton rat, the white-footed mouse, the rice rat and the deer mouse.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a respiratory disease in humans caused by infection with hantaviruses.

The disease is not airborne and can only spread to people if they come in contact with urine, feces, and saliva of rodents and less frequently by a bite from an infected host.

There had been many cases of HPS infections in India. The most common way of contracting the virus, as is stated, is by humans inhaling air contaminated by particles from droppings, urine and saliva of the four aforementioned rodents. These symptoms are universal. Additionally, infected Hantavirus individuals might also experience muscle pain, dizziness and chills.

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Four to 10 days after the initial phase of illness, the late symptoms of HPS appear.

According to CDC, if left untreated then Hantavirus can lead to coughing and shortness of breath which could prove fatal.

There is no specific treatment, cure or vaccine to treat Hantavirus. However, if the infected are recognised early on and are provided medical care in an intensive care unit, they may do better. "Some patients have experienced longer than expected recovery times, but the virus has not been shown to leave lasting effects on the patient". HFRS includes diseases such as Korean hemorrhagic fever, epidemic hemorrhagic fever, and nephropathia epidemica.

The symptoms of this condition are very similar to other viral infections. Individuals may have flushing of the face, inflammation or redness of the eyes, or a rash. Fatality ranges from 5-15% for HFRS caused by Hantaan virus, and it is less than 1% for disease caused by Puumala virus.

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