Hantavirus And it's Symptoms and Precautions

When people all over the world are tensed about the global pandemic coronavirus, the news of the death of a person in the Yunnan province of China from hantavirus has created additional terror for everyone.

#hantavirus is one of the top trends in social networking sites. The news was published in China's Global Times.

According to the Global Times, a man from Yunnan province, China died on his way back to Shandong province for work on a chartered bus on 23rd March 2020. It is said that he was tested positive for Hantavirus. It was also mentioned that the other 32 people who were on the same bus also have been tested with the same virus.

The news created much tension and people all over the world fear it as something like that of coronavirus, COVID-19, which is getting ready to create a new global pandemic.
Before proceeding to any conclusion let’s first know about hantavirus.

What is hantavirus?

Hantavirus is a family of viruses that are mainly carried by rodents or rats. Infection with any hantavirus can cause disease in any person.

Hantaviruses in America are known as New World hantaviruses. It may cause HPS that is Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. Old World hantaviruses are found in Europe and Asia and it may lead to Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome, HFRS.

Let’s know about HPS and HFRS.

HPS or Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is a very severe and sometimes lethal respiratory disease. HPS is generally seen in humans infected with Hantavirus. When anyone comes in contact with rodents that carry hantavirus is at risk of developing HPS.

HFRS or Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome is a sickness caused by hantaviruses. HFRS includes hemorrhagic fever, headaches, backaches, abdominal pain, nausea, blurred vision.

Both HPS and HFRS are rare but can be very hazardous.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), hantavirus infection is most often found in rural areas with forests, fields, and farms. The cotton mouse, rice rat, white-footed rat and particularly the deer mouse in the US have been known to carry hantavirus.

The infected rodents shed the virus in their urine, feces and saliva. When people come in contact with the rodent’s urine, feces or saliva by breathing in the tiny droplets containing the virus which gets mixed up into the air when the fresh urine, saliva or dropping materials of the infected rodents are stirred up. This generally happens while cleaning closed rooms with improper ventilation say storerooms, unused buildings.

Rodents usually stay in such places where there is no proper ventilation. When one comes in contact with rodent’s urine, saliva or droppings while cleaning the closed rooms, he/she can get infected with hantavirus.

Research shows that people can get infected with hantavirus if they touch something contaminated with rodent's urine, spit or droppings and touch their nose and mouth.  It is also suspected that one can become sick if one consumes food contaminated with infected, saliva or feces. And in rare cases, the virus may be spread if the rodent carrying the virus bites a person.

Is the hantavirus transmitted from one person to another?

As per CDC the hantavirus HPS in the United States cannot be transmitted from one person to another.

Are there any vaccines?

There is no specific treatment or vaccine for hantavirus until today.

Is it something like coronavirus?

No, it is not like coronavirus. Coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person by droplets of a sneeze and cough. But hantavirus is caused when someone comes in contact with rodents carrying hantavirus.

The mortality rate of hantavirus is 38%.

What are the precautions we can take to avoid hantavirus? 

  1. Eliminate contact with rodents.
  2. Seal up the holes or gaps in your house or workplace that could allow rodents to come inside.
  3. Cover your food items and clean fruits and vegetables properly before eating.
  4. Proper sanitation is the key to safeguard from hantavirus.
  5. Be careful while cleaning and dusting closed rooms and spray disinfectant and let it soak for five minutes.
So now you get a little detail about hantavirus. I hope it will be useful. So don’t get panic and share it with your friends and families so that they can know about the hantavirus.

Stay healthy.
Thank you.

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