Hantavirus: Symptoms, Precautions, Test and Treatment

While many measures are being taken to fight the virus called COVID-19 with unity throughout the world, a Chinese man in the Yunnan province of China has been diagnosed with Hantavirus. You would think that what is this Hantavirus? Is this some new kind of virus outbreak? Don’t worry! It is not a new virus. There is nothing to worry about Hantavirus. But you must take necessary measures and precautions so you can be safe and disease-free.

Credit: MarketWatch

Origins of Hantavirus
Hantaviruses have been found in the United States since the late 1990s, most recently in New York City, New Jersey and New Mexico. Hantavirus from the United States has not been observed in any other country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hantaviruses are found in Europe and Asia and cause a form of kidney disease, hemorrhagic fever-renal syndrome (HFRS). Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a life-threatening disease caused by the Sin Nombre virus (a type of Hantavirus). In America, the Hantavirus attacks the lungs, causes HPV and can cause lung cancer. It is transmitted and spread by brown Norwegian rats, which are wild, kept as pets or bred in commercial and domestic facilities. Rats can secrete the virus, and humans have a higher risk of being infected with the rodents than humans due to the high number of rats in the population. It is expected that after the Coronavirus outbreak,this might be another threat. However, there’s no need to worry as current situation is under control.

Symptoms of Hantavirus
People infected with the virus often have a relatively mild illness, but some develop a form of hemorrhagic fever and kidney syndrome. Some call it hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and some people, such as people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), develop kidney failure. Hantavirus lung syndrome is an infectious disease characterized by flu – like symptoms that can quickly become life-threatening, according to the CDC. People infected with the infected host can develop respiratory problems such as coughing, sneezing, fever, coughing and other respiratory diseases. Hantavirus lung syndrome (HPS) is a potentially life-threatening viral disease and can cause severe lung disease that can be fatal. A non-pulmonary form of the disease, called non-pulmonary dumbbell virus infection, may also occur.

Causes of Hantavirus
Hantaviruses are caused by rodent viruses and are transmitted by the same rodent species as rats, mice, rats and mice. Research suggests that Hantavirus cannot be transmitted from one person to another, but it can cause infections in humans. Humans become infected when they inhale dust containing dried urine or feces from rodents, and scientists believe humans can get the virus by touching contaminated material, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth, or eating food contaminated with infected saliva, feces, or urine from mice. The virus can also be spread when dried material contaminated with rodents is disturbed, or when it reaches damaged skin, eyes or nose and mouth. There is no evidence that hantaviruses can be transmitted by kissing or sharing food with an infected person, which does not lead to disease. However, humans can contract the disease through bites from infected rodents and through contact with infected saliva, feces or urine.

Hantavirus Vaccine and Medication
The first Hantavirus vaccine has been developed for the Hantaan River virus, which causes one of the most severe forms of HFRS. The widespread use of this vaccine could be the first step in the development of a vaccine to prevent and treat Hantavirus diseases in humans. It is estimated that around 1.5 million doses of vaccine are given to rodents in China each year. But this vaccine is not very effective on many types of hantaviruses including European hantaviruses including Puumala (PUUV) and Dobrava-Belgrade (DOBV) viruses. The drug trading name for the vaccine is Hantavax. As of 2012, no hantavirus vaccine has been licensed for use in Europe or the USA. A phase 2 test on human HTNV / PUUV DNA hantavirus vaccine is underway.

Necessary Precautions

  1. If you want to protect yourself and your family from this dangerous situation, then it is necessary to control the number of mice (rodents) in and around your house.
  2. If you have been around rodents and have symptoms of fever, deep muscle pain, and severe shortness of breath, see your doctor immediately.
  3. Do not interact with animals such as deer, mice, rats, rabbits or birds and then touch your mouth, nose or eyes.
  4. Make sure you tell your doctor where you have been and what happened to you.
  5. As treatment options are limited, the best protection against hantavirus lung syndrome is to avoid rodents and their habitats.

There is no specific treatment, cure, or vaccine for HPS. Patients may be better off if it is detected early and they have a medical facility in the intensive care unit. They often use a breathing machine and require oxygen therapy.

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Author: Rohit Choubey

Rohit is an avid blogger as well an eminent digital marketeer. He has immense passion towards food blogging. His hobbies include travelling, cooking and watching movies. He is the content analyst for RailMitra.