• Amid the pandemic, a new threat may be looming around the corner
  • Hantavirus has caused the death of a person in China
  • The Hantavirus comes from rats

Reports earlier today said that a person from the Yunnan Province in China has died while traveling back to Shandong Province for work on Monday aboard a chartered bus. He is said to have tested positive for Hantavirus. All of his 32 companions on the bus are being tested currently to check whether the disease has transmitted from rodents to humans.

Hantaviruses are a family of viruses mainly spread by rodents. Pictured: representative image of a rodent. Ranjith Jaya - Unsplash

Hantavirus Quick Facts

According to health experts, Hantavirus is a pathogen transmitted from animals to humans, oftentimes from rodents. It causes respiratory problems and other issues, much like the coronavirus.

Among the early symptoms of infection include muscle ache, headache, fever, dizziness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, chills, vomiting, and nausea. Health experts say that approximately 50% of patients infected with Hantavirus suffer these symptoms.

In its advanced stage, the pathogen moves on to symptoms that include lungs filling with fluid, as well as shortness of breath. Additionally, there are types of Hantaviruses that causes hemorrhagic fever accompanied by a renal syndrome. The disease can be fatal if left untreated.

Manner Of Transmission

Unlike coronavirus, Hantavirus does not spread in the air, which is a bit of good news, according to the Centers for Disease Control in the US. Scientists believe it came from rats and is transmitted to humans through bites or if broken skin comes into contact with the rodent’s fecal matter.

It can also be transmitted if the rodent is eaten. The main method of stopping the spread of this disease is through rodent control.

An Outbreak In The Past

In 2017, there was a minimal outbreak of Hantavirus in the United States. It was, however, contained after it infected 17 people. There were no records of fatalities during that outbreak.

According to the CDC website, Hantaviruses in the Americas are called “New World” hantaviruses and may result in hantavirus pulmonary syndrome or HPS. Other Hantaviruses, those that are referred to as “Old World” Hantaviruses, are often found in Asia and Europe. These types may cause hemorrhagic fever accompanied by a renal syndrome. The CDC also revealed that one of the major risk factors for hantavirus exposure is a rodent infestation in and around the homes.