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Hantavirus outbreak: what is Hantavirus? What are the symptoms?

The Express reported earlier today a person from Yunnan Province in China died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus on Monday. He tested positive for hantavirus. The other 32 people on the bus are currently being tested to see whether the disease has made the jump from rodents to humans.

What is Hantavirus?

Hantavirus is a virus transmitted from animals to humans, usually from rodents.

It causes respiratory issues much like coronavirus.

Fortunately, the virus cannot be spread from human-to-human.


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What are the symptoms?

The early symptoms of hantavirus include fever, headache, muscle ache, abdominal pain, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

About half of all Hantavirus patients experience these symptoms.

The virus moves on to symptoms including the lungs filling with fluid and shortness of breath.

In addition, some Hantaviruses can cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.

If the condition is left untreated, it can be fatal.


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How is it spread?

Fortunately, Hantavirus does not spread in the air, unlike coronavirus, according to the United States Centres for Disease Control.

Hantavirus is believed it comes from rats and can be transmitted to humans via bites or fecal matter coming into contact with broken skin or being eaten.

Rodent control is the primary way to stop the spread of the disease.

There was a small outbreak of hantavirus in the US in 2017 but was contained after infecting 17 people. There were no fatalities.

The CDC website reads: “Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as ‘New World’ hantaviruses and may cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).

“Other Hantaviruses, known as ‘Old World’ Hantaviruses, are found mostly in Europe and Asia and may cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.

“Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure.

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