Everything you need to know about hantavirus – disease that killed man in China
As coronavirus continues to spread and create lockdown in countries across the globe, another deadly virus is creating panic.
Fears are starting to grow of a new virus after a man in China died.
The man from China’s Yunnan Province, died while on his way back to Shadong Provice, sparking fear he may have spread the disease to other people.
He had tested positive for hantavirus, and negative for coronavirus.
But hantavirus is not a new virus, and will likely not become a global pandemic, like COVID-19, which has infected thousands of people across the globe.
Here is everything you need to know about hantavirus, and why there is no need to worry.
What is hantavirus?
Hantaviruses are a family of viruses spread mainly by rodents, and can cause various diseases around the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC said: “Infection with any hantavirus can produce hantavirus disease in people.”
The virus is mainly transmitted if someone comes into contact with excretes (urine and faeces) and saliva of rodents.
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This can also happen through breathing the air infected with hantaviruses.
It is less frequently spread if a person is bitten by an infected rodent.
The CDC said: "If a rodent with the virus bites someone, the virus may be spread to that person, but this type of transmission is rare."
It can cause a number of health issues, such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) and Haemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS).
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Among the early symptoms of hantavirus are fever, headache, muscle ache, abdominal pain, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The incubation period of hantavirus is usually seven to 14 days.
In some rare cases symptoms show as quickly as four days, or as long as two months.
The deadly virus has a mortality rate of 38%, according to the CDC.
Most hantaviruses can't be spread from person to person.
However, the CDC said: "In Chile and Argentina, rare cases of person-to-person transmission have occurred among close contacts of a person who was ill with a type of hantavirus called Andes virus."
HRS is most common in the rural areas of western US, South America, Canada and Asia.
In order to minimise the risk of catching hantavirus, the CDC recommends eliminating or minimising “contact with rodents in your home, workplace, or campsite”.
It continued: “Seal up holes and gaps in your home or garage. Place traps in and around your home to decrease rodent infestation. Clean up any easy-to-get food.”
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