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Hantavirus appears in China amid COVID-19 Pandemic: Check Symptoms, Risks, Treatment and Prevention measures

Hantavirus – All You Need to Know: With COVID-19 pandemic raising global concerns, reports have emerged about a new ‘Orthohantavirus’ in China, which has raised concerns among the people.  Know all about Hantavirus symptoms, transmission, cure and prevention. 

Mar 25, 2020 11:38 IST
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Hantavirus – All You Need to Know: While worldwide coronavirus continues to impact millions of lives, reports of a new fatal virus in China has peaked everyone's worries. The first fatal case of Hantavirus was reported in China’s Yunnan Province on March 23, 2020 when a man tested positive for it and passed away shortly afterward. 

Hantavirus symptoms are known to be similar to Covid-19 infection. The infected individual died on a chartered bus, the other passengers of the bus were also tested for the virus. This news became viral after thousands of people took to social media to tweet about it. 

Should people be worried? Well, no because Hantavirus is rarely known to have spread from person to person. The virus, though fatal, is spread mainly through rodents and their droppings and urine. The virus causes disease syndromes in people. 

What is Hantavirus?

Hantavirus or Orthohantavirus is an old family of viruses, which mainly spreads through rodents or rats. It can cause various diseases including hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). It can also cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Hantavirus Transmission

Hantavirus is transmitted when a person comes in direct contact with the droppings, urine, saliva or nesting of a rodent that has the virus. The virus enters the human body through eyes, nose or mouth

Is Hantavirus contagious?

No. Hantavirus is rarely known to have spread from person-to-person.

Who is most at the risk of contracting Hantavirus?

Humans who come in contact with rodents face the  maximum risk of contracting the virus. Homes that have rodent infestation can also lead to the exposure of the virus. Healthy persons are also at the risk of getting the virus when exposed to it.  

Is Hantavirus airbone?

No, hantavirus is not airborne. It can only be spread if one comes in direct contact with the infected rodent or its feces. It is also not known to actually spread through a bite from the infected rat.  

What are the symptoms of Hantavirus?

The hantavirus symptoms are similar to coronavirus as they include fever, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, abdominal pains and chills. It can also lead to cough, respiratory issues with shortness of breath and can prove to be fatal.

How dangerous is Hantavirus?

Hantavirus can be fatal, especially if left untreated. The virus infection has a mortality rate of 38 percent as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It can cause acute shock, low blood pressure, acute kidney failure and vascular leakage.

How common is Hantavirus?

Hantavirus is not very common as it can’t be passed on from person-to-person.

Hantavirus Diagnosis

The Hantavirus diagnosis is a challenge as the symptoms are similar to many other diseases such as regular flu, pneumonia, influenza and coronavirus. Those who have a fever and are exposed to rats should be tested for the virus.

Hantavirus treatment and cure

Hantavirus has no known treatment or vaccines. Those infected with the virus are kept in the ICU to monitor and ease their respiratory distress.

Hantavirus prevention

The only way to prevent Hantavirus is to prevent rodent infestation in homes and minimise contact with them. This can be done through pest control and by ensuring proper cleanliness in homes. 

Hantavirus vs Coronavirus

Hantavirus

Coronavirus

Hantavirus is not contagious, as it is rarely passed on from one person to other.

Coronavirus is highly contagious and can spread easily from person to person.

It is contracted when someone touches their eyes, nose or mouth after touching the feces of rodent.

It is contracted when someone touches their eyes, nose or mouth after touching the infected person.

The Hantavirus symptoms are similar to coronavirus- fever, fatigue, headache, respiratory issues.

The Coronavirus symptoms are similar to  Hantavirus symptoms- fever, fatigue, headache, respiratory issues.

The virus can be prevented by avoiding contact with rodents.

The virus can be prevented by ensuring proper hand hygiene, cleaning them often and avoiding close contact with others.

Hantavirus treatment: There is no specific treatment or cure or vaccine for Hantavirus prevention.

Coronavirus treatment: There is no specific treatment or cure or vaccine for Coronavirus prevention.

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