As if the novel coronavirus was not enough to send the world to a tizzy that a new fatal hantavirus has emerged in China. Yes, you heard that right. A man tested positive for hantavirus reportedly dies in China, but does that mean that another pandemic is coming? While we may raise eyebrows on everything related to any virus, you can push your fears away if you are worried about the new hantavirus or orthohantavirus. Here's is a complete breakdown.
What is Hantavirus and How Does it Spread?
According to CDC, hantaviruses are a family of virus that can spread only through rodents. The virus spreads when a person comes in contact with droppings, rodent urine or saliva of the rodent. Infection with any hantavirus can cause hantavirus disease in people. The virus can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). Hantavirus, Disease Spread by Rodents, Claims One Life in China’s Yunnan Province: Official Media
What are The Symptoms of Hantavirus Infection?
If you are infected by hantavirus, you will experience fatigue, fever, headache, muscle pain, chills, dizziness and abdominal problems. In severe cases, the infection can cause shortness of breath and fill the lungs with liquid. More severe symptoms of the disease also include acute kidney failure.
Can Hantavirus Infection be Cured?
So far, there is no vaccine for hantavirus, but fatality can be avoided if patients are admitted to the intensive care units (ICU) on time. One must rush to the hospital immediately as soon as the symptoms start showing up. Hantavirus Fact Check: Can the Virus Transmit From Human to Human and Do You Need to Quarantine? Know How People Can Be Infected With HPS.
Is There a Way to Prevent Hantavirus Infection?
In the absence of a cure, health professionals recommend rodent control as the primary measure to prevent the spread of the disease. And although, hantavirus cases are rare, you would want to do away with everything that can prove fatal. Hantavirus Causes, Symptoms & Prevention: Know Everything From Transmission, Vaccine to Cure of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS).
Countries around the world are already on high alert due to the uncertainty of coronavirus. However, there is no indication yet that hantavirus can pose a global threat.