China’s English daily Global Times has reported the death of a person from Yunnan Province who tested positive for the hantavirus.
- According to the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the hantavirus is not novel and its first case dates back to 1993.
- Scenario in New World:
- The Sin Nombre hantavirus carried by the deer mouse is responsible for the majority cases of the hantavirus infection in the USA.
- Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as “New World” hantaviruses and may cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).
- Scenario in Old World:
- Other hantaviruses, known as “Old World” hantaviruses, are found mostly in Europe and Asia and may cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).
- Spread by rodents: A person can get infected if he/she comes in contact with a rodent that carries the virus.
- There are various other kinds of hantaviruses that find hosts in rodents, like the white-footed mouse and the cotton rat among others, that may lead to infections in humans if transmitted.
- Mortality rates:Hantavirus pulmonary disease (HPS) can be fatal and has a mortality rate of 38 per cent.
- An orthohantavirus is a single-stranded, enveloped, negative-sense RNA virus in the family Hantaviridae of the order Bunyavirales. These viruses normally cause infection in rodents, but do not cause disease in them.
- Mostly spread: rural areas where forests, fields and farms offer suitable habitat for infected rodents.
- Human to Human transmission:
- It is not clear that human to human transmission takes place.
- However, Chile and Argentina have had rare cases, where close contacts of the patient, who was ill with a type of hantavirus called the Andes virus, were also infected.
Symptoms of Hantavirus:
- Symptoms of hantavirus develop over one to eight week after the person gets exposed to fresh urine, faeces or the saliva of infected rodents.
- Symptoms include: fever, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, chills and abdominal problems. Four to ten days after being infected, late symptoms of HPS may start to appear, which include coughing and shortness of breath.
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