While the world is reeling with coronavirus pandemic and still trying to figure out its cure, China has reported death from hantavirus. However, contrary to popular belief and WhatsApp university schooling us about it, let's get a reality check about hantavirus.
Here's the clincher - and something that should help us all sleep a little easier tonight: Hantavirus isn't a new phenomenon, and dealing with it won't be as troublesome as the coronavirus outbreak has proved to be. importantly, it can not be transmitted between humans: So the risk to life is much, much lower. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported it has a mortality rate of 38 percent. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is a respiratory disease caused by infection with hantaviruses and can be fatal in only some cases in humans.
The symptoms of potentially deadly HPS include fatigue, fever and muscle aches-particularly in the thighs, back, hips, and less often the shoulders. The symptoms include fever, headache, and abdominal pain.
Apart from these, the major symptom of HPS is difficulty in breathing caused due to build up of fluids in lungs.
This virus is known as the "New World" hantaviruses in America and those known as "Old World" hantaviruses are found mostly in Europe and Asia.
Symptoms of HFRS usually develop within 1 to 2 weeks after exposure to infectious material, but in rare cases, they may take up to 8 weeks to develop.
It is a bit hard to diagnose the disease cause by Hantavirus as the early signs and symptoms are confusing and mimic those of other common health ailments. If left untreated, it may lead to coughing, shortness of breath, or even death.
Rodents are the only known reservoirs of hantavirus, named after river Hantan. The patient may be provided medical care and put in ICU, where oxygen therapy can help with respiratory distress.
The MayoClinic blog further states that treatment for Hantavirus is limited but early prognosis and hospitalization improves chances.
Stay away or minimize contact from places where rodents leave droppings.
Minimise contact with rats at home or work.
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