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Hantavirus, a New Threat? Man in China Tests Positive and Dies of Virus

While the world is still dealing with the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a man in China has just recently reportedly died of another virus, called Hantavirus. Along with the man, there were 32 other people on the bus he was on that tested positive for the virus as well, which is quite rare because the virus does not usually pass from human to human.

Hantavirus

The Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome or HPV has a 36% fatality rate that is an alarming number for an otherwise small virus.

What is Hantavirus?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined this virus as belonging to the family of Hantavirus pathogens that spreads mainly through rodents. According to the CDC, “Infection with any hantavirus can produce hantavirus disease in people,”

The agency explains that every single strain of Hantavirus is linked with a specific rodent and that this virus is passed through airborne transmission when the particles that contain the virus from the animal’s feces, urine, or even saliva travel in the air and infect an individual.

The infection from this virus is quite similar to other viruses as a person could get this by touching their mouths or nose after being in contact with contaminated surfaces with urine, saliva, or feces from the host. Eating contaminated food could also be another way this virus travels.

The Hantavirus is more likely to be caught in rural areas such as forests, farms, or even fields where the rodent carriers are most likely to be found.

The ‘New World’ Hantavirus versus the ‘Old World’ Hantavirus

People within the Americas infected with the ‘New World’ Hantavirus can possibly develop what is more popularly known as the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome or HPV. The ‘Old World’ Hantavirus, on the other hand, can be found in either Asia or Europe, which can trigger Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome or otherwise known as HFRS.

The CDC has stated that the Hantavirus within the U.S. cannot pass from person to person, while only rare cases of human to human transition have been found in Chile and Argentina in people who had quite a close contact with those positive of the Andres virus.

The symptoms of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome or HPS include fever, fatigue, and muscle aches, especially in thighs, hips, the back, and also the shoulders. People who are infected may get headaches, chills, vomit, and even experience diarrhea and stomach pain.

After four to ten days, the person might then experience shortness of breath, cough, and certain fluids that may even fill their lungs.

The details of the man were withheld

Whether or not the man experienced certain HPV symptoms or HFRS symptoms is unclear, but the fact that the virus was able to transfer through human to human contact is quite alarming and is a rare case as reported by the CDC.

The name and other personal details of the victim are still being withheld.

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