Hantavirus, amid coronavirus outbreak, claims a man’s life in China

Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as “New World” hantaviruses and may cause hantaviruses pulmonary syndrome (HPS).

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As China saw a decrease in the daily count of new coronavirus Covid-19 cases, another virus has taken the life of a man from Yunnan Province.

In a recent tweet by China’s Global Times, “A person from Yunnan Province died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work in a charted bus on Monday. He was tested positive for hantavirus. The 32-other people on the bus were tested”

What is hantavirus and how does it spread? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hantaviruses are a family of viruses that are spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied diseases in people.

“Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as “New World” hantaviruses and may cause hantaviruses pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Other hantaviruses, known as “Old World” hantavirus, are found mostly in Europe and Asia and may cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)”

It can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).

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

Symptoms of hantavirus

Early symptoms of HPS include fever, fatigue, muscle aches, as well as headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems. If left untreated, it can lead to coughing and shortness of breath which can be fatal. HPS has a mortality rate of 38 percent.

The initial symptoms of HFRS are the same as HPS. HFRS causes low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute kidney failure.

HPS cannot be transmitted from person to person, while HFRS transmission between people is extremely rare.

The CDC advised that rodent population control is the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infections.

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