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General News Hantavirus: Another virus emerges in China; everything you need to know

[Image: nyc-pest-complaints-0b66a-1585052859.jpg]

In the times of COVID-19, any development on the front of a new virus being discovered, especially in China, gives people a scare. According to a report in the Global Times, a new virus that has been termed as 'Hantavirus' has already claimed a life in China's Shandong province. The deceased was from China's Yunnan and was travelled back to Shandong in a bus along with 32 other passengers. Authorities were checking all the co-travellers as a precautionary measure.

What is Hantavirus?
As per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA, Hantaviruses are a family of viruses spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied disease syndromes in people worldwide. Infection with any hantavirus can produce hantavirus disease in people. Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as “New World” hantaviruses and may cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Other hantaviruses, known as “Old World” hantaviruses, are found mostly in Europe and Asia and may cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).

What are the symptoms of Hantavirus?
Since HPS affects a small population, the “incubation” period is unknown. In most recorded cases, symptoms develop 1 to 8 weeks after exposure. Early symptoms, such as fever, dry cough, body aches, headaches, diarrhea and abdominal pain, are similar to many other viral illnesses. This may prevent an HPS diagnosis before the illness progresses.

If the initial symptoms are not connected to hantavirus exposure and are left untreated, late symptoms will onset rapidly. These symptoms include cough and shortness of breath, which are the result of leaky blood vessels and lead to collection of fluid in the lungs, bleeding and failure of the heart to pump. The combination of these changes can lead to shock, failure of several organs and even death.

With this in mind, key symptoms and signs to watch for (with a history of rodent exposure) include:

1-Fever greater than 101◦F, chills, body aches, headaches
2-Nausea and vomiting and abdominal pain
3-A dry cough followed by rapid onset of breathing difficultyre found mostly in Europe and Asia and may cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).

What causes Hantavirus?
There are four kinds of rats that usually cause hantavirus -- cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus), the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), rice rat (Oryzomys palustris) and white-footed mouse (Peromyscus lecopus).


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