While the world is in a crisis due to the ongoing pandemic (COVID-19), people are in a fear that another virus could make life more worst. In particular, Hantavirus is trending all over the internet as there was a report of a man dying from the virus in Yunnan, China on March 23, 2020.
The Global Times tweeted about the news, writing:
“A person from Yunnan Province died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus on Monday. He was tested positive for #hantavirus. Other 32 people on bus were tested.“
Although some of the sources claim that all the 32 passengers on the bus tested positive for the virus, it just seems to be a rumor as there isn’t any official news yet.
What is Hantavirus? It’s Causes
In Contrast to the COVID-19 virus, Hantavirus is not new to the human. This virus typically infects rodents, but they do not cause illness in them. Further, the human can get an infection with hantaviruses through contact with rodent’s urine, saliva, or feces. Additionally, Science defines Hantavirus as a single-stranded, enveloped, negative-sense RNA virus of the order Bunyavirales in the Hantaviridae family.
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is an infectious illness characterized by flu-like symptoms, which can quickly lead to life-threatening breathing problems. You get infected with hantavirus by breathing air that is shed in rodent urine and droppings.
With the Hantavirus, humans are more likely to get conditions such as hantavirus hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), or hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), also known as hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS). On the other hand, there are many other strains of Hantavirus which don’t affect human.
Hantavirus Origin; When Was It First Discovered?
As per the reports, the virus was first seen in South Korea. Particularly, the virus is named after Hantan River area in South Korea where an early outbreak was observed.
Also, it was first noticed in 1976 by Ho-Wang Lee. This virus came into attention when human to human transmission was noticed in South America in 2005 and later in 2019.
Pulmonary Hantavirus syndrome develops through two distinct stages. You may experience flu-like signs and symptoms at the first stage. Other symptoms include:
- Fever and chills
- Headaches and muscle aches
- Vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain
The infection at its early stages is hard to distinguish from influenza, pneumonia, or other viral conditions. More-serious signs and symptoms begin after four to 10 days. Some of the noticeable symptoms are:
- A cough that produces secretions
- Shortness of breath
- Fluid accumulating within the lungs
- Low blood pressure
- Reduced heart efficiency
Diagnosing HPS can be difficult because early signs resemble the flu. There are currently no methods for diagnosing HPS, but a history of rodent contact with fever and fatigue is a good predictor of infection. Importantly, when you think you may have been infected, you should see your doctor right away.
When Should We Visit The Doctor?
The signs and symptoms of pulmonary Hantavirus syndrome may escalate unexpectedly. Also, it can quickly become life-threatening. You have to immediately consult health care professionals if you have unexplained conditions such as:
- body aches
- stomach pain
- dry cough
- extreme trouble with breathing
The only thing we need to consider is to keep rodents away from your home and workplace.
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