What is hantavirus, what are hantavirus symptoms? Is it as dangerous as coronavirus and everything you need to know?
A person from Yunnan province died while returning to Shandong province to work on a rented bus on Monday. They tested positive for #hantavirus. Another 32 people on the bus were evaluated. pic.twitter.com/SXzBpWmHvW
– Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 24, 2020
The death of infected death has sparked a wave of panic among netizens as people are concerned if they need to prepare for another killer virus. The news about hantavirus comes at a time when scientists and medical experts around the world are already struggling against time to find a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the uninitiated, the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which was detected in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, has claimed 16,587 lives and infected 3.83,908 people worldwide.
What exactly is hantavirus?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Hantaviruses are a family of viruses spread mainly by rodents and can cause various disease syndromes in people around the world. Infection with any hantavirus can cause hantavirus disease in people. It can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). ”
This virus is known as “New World” hantaviruses in America and those known as “Old World” hantaviruses are found mainly in Europe and Asia. Since there are different types of hantaviruses, each hantavirus serotype has a specific rodent host species.
How is it different from coronavirus and how is hantavirus spread?
Unlike the coronavirus, this disease is not transmitted from one person to another, but can be contracted if someone touches their eyes, nose, or mouth after touching rodent droppings, urine, or nesting materials.
Therefore, humans who contract hantavirus generally come into contact with rodents that carry the virus. According to the CDC, rodent infestation in and around the home remains the main risk of exposure to hantavirus.
This virus also spreads when virus-containing particles are agitated in the air, and infection occurs if airborne virus particles are inhaled. That is why it is crucial to avoid dusting, cleaning and vacuuming an area infested with rodents.
What are the signs and symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)?
Due to a small number of reported cases of HPS, the incubation period for the virus is not yet known correctly.
Some of the early symptoms of HPS (Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome) include:
3. Muscle pain
7. Stomach problems
Late symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (SPH)
About 4 to 10 days after the initial symptoms of HPS, late symptoms of HPS appear. Some of them are:
1. Shortness of breath
2. Fluid-filled lungs.
The first symptoms of HFRS (hemorrhagic fever with kidney syndrome)
On the other hand, HFRS symptoms start suddenly and include severe headaches, back and abdominal pain, fever, nausea, chills, redness of the face, redness of the eyes, inflammation or rash.
Late symptoms of HFRS (hemorrhagic fever with kidney syndrome)
Some of the late symptoms of HFRS:
1. low blood pressure
2. Acute shock
3. Vascular leak
4. Acute kidney failure
According to the CDC, the severity of the disease varies depending on the virus causing the infection.