What is Hantavirus? Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention
On the one hand, we are trying to survive the severe outbreak of Coronavirus then there is a new thing Hantavirus. Many countries have imposed a complete lockdown to fight the situation and contain its spreading. The outbreak of the Wuhan virus affecting the global economy as well.
Doctors are trying their best to save as many people as they can. The number of cases in the world has crossed 4,00,000 and more than 11,000 deaths. People are still struggling with the Coronavirus and there comes one more virus.
China reported the death of a man in Yunnan Province due to Hantavirus. The death was reported while he was traveling on a chartered bus to Shandong Province for work on Monday. It was only a few days ago when China declared that they have won over the Coronavirus threat and now this!
People around the world are panicking. Everyone is considering this one will cause another pandemic and is the start of an end of life on the earth. Don’t panic! It isn’t a new virus or one like Corona. Hantavirus isn’t contagious as COVID-19.
Now the question arises – what is hantavirus?
The case of hantavirus in china has shaken people around the world. People are reasoning about the virus being born in China and is another fatality. But before you fit anything in mind (which is already stuffed with too many tensions), take a look at the detailed information on Hantavirus.
Definition of Hantavirus
Hantavirus is basically a family of viruses that has an origin from rodents or rats. It has different types and there are few species of rats that are the host of this virus. A human can get infected with this disease only if they come in close contact with the rat droppings, urine, or saliva, which may have the virus.
The hantaviruses are divided into two categories: New World and Old World. ‘New World’ hantaviruses cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) and the ‘Old World’ hantaviruses cause Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS).
Let’s see the cause, symptoms, and prevention of hantavirus.
The foremost thing that you should know about the new virus in the market is its cause. Causes of it and who are its hosts. There are four types of rats that are the host of these viruses, namely, cotton rats, the deer mouse, rice rat, and the white-foot mouse.
Now How is Hantavirus Caused?
According to Canada’s public health service, the circumstances under which the hantavirus can infect a human being are mentioned below:
- If a person inhales virus particles from rodent urine, droppings, or saliva that has been released into the air,
- This can happen when rodent waste is up from vacuuming or sweeping,
- If he touches an object or eats food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents,
- Bitten by a rodent infection with a hantavirus (this one is rare).
The symptoms of Hantavirus are as follows:
If it is HPS, you will see the signs such as fatigue, fever, and muscle aches, especially in the thighs, hips, back, and shoulders. One can also suffer from headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems. In case of late symptoms, one may suffer from coughing and shortness of breath and that usually happens after four to 10 days. (Sounds more like symptoms of COVID-19, right?)
If it is HFRS, you will develop symptoms within one to two weeks of coming in contact with the virus. You will experience intense headaches, back & abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea, and blurred vision. There are chances that you will see the symptoms even after eight weeks (but it is rare). In case of late symptoms, one may suffer from low blood pressure, vascular leakage, and acute shock & kidney failure.
There are chances of late diagnosis and treatment, as the symptoms of this are similar to flu. The symptoms can be confusing with influenza, like Coronavirus. The fatality rate of HPS is 38%, which makes it more dangerous than nCOV. But the positive point is, the disease doesn’t spread through person-to-person.
You know the causes and symptoms now it’s time for prevention. You will have to face the problem if that occurs, but the better option is to prevent it.
The first step towards its prevention is to get rid of rodents. The chances of the disease spreading from person to person are very rare. And even if you come across the remains or filth of the rodents, be careful while cleaning them.
They should clean it immediately but only after wearing masks and gloves, in short with proper safety measures. So if you want to prevent the hantavirus, the primary step is the population control of the Rodents.
Don’t Panic, and Stay Safe:
Now you know it isn’t an infectious disease and won’t spread from person to person. All you need to do is to stay away from rats and make your place rodent-free. There’s no need for panicking unnecessarily. For god’s sake, don’t spread rumors. We all are in the same boat. Right now, what we need is support to fight this novel coronavirus.
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