CDC: Nothing to worry about Hantavirus as long you avoid contact with rodents - GazeFeed


CDC: Nothing to worry about Hantavirus as long you avoid contact with rodents - GazeFeed



A newly reported man died from Hantavirus, causing the netizens to panicked with this allegedly new "disease". The man came from Yunnan Province and passed away on his way home from Shandong Province from a chartered bus on Monday, March 24 and was tested positive from the said virus. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "hantavirus" is a family of viruses that originate in rodents such as mice. It is obtained through contact with rodents, poop or saliva by rodents. It causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.

What is Hantavirus?

This family of diseases is spread mainly by rodents — particularly the deer mouse in the U.S. — and can cause different diseases in people around the world. Each hantavirus has a specific rodent host species. Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as “New World” hantaviruses, and can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), with symptoms including fatigue, fever and muscle ache in early stages, and coughing and shortness of breath later on. Other hantaviruses, known as “Old World” hantaviruses, are mostly seen in Europe and Asia, and can cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), with symptoms including intense headaches, back and abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea and blurred vision. Both diseases are considered rare, but can be fatal.

How do people get infected with hantavirus?

CDC notes that this hantavirus infection tend to happen sporadically, and mostly it only occurs in rural areas where there are fields and farms which appeals to habitats of these rodents hosts. 

The rodents shed the virus in their saliva, urine and feces, and people most commonly contract it by breathing in tiny droplets containing the virus that get stirred up into the air when fresh rodent urine, droppings or nesting materials are stirred up. This can happen while cleaning in and around your home, if you have rodents living there, too. Fixing or cleaning sheds and previously unused buildings, particularly in rural settings, could also expose people to get infected by rodent droppings. Construction, utility and pest control workers can also come into contact with it while working in crawl spaces or buildings that may be infested with mice. CDC also added, hikers and campers may be exposed when camping or sheltering in rodent habitats.

Anyone can also be infected by hantavirus once it is being intake accidentally. It can be through a contaminated food by rodent urine, saliva, or droppings then touched and happen to get in through your nose or mouth. CDC advised everyone that we should keep washing our hands at most times. 

Note: The CDC states that the hantaviruses that cause human illness in the US cannot be transmitted from one person to another, such as from touching or kissing a person infected, or from a health care worker who treated someone with it. Only Chile and Argentina have seen a couple of rare cases of person-to-person transmission among close contacts of a person sick with the Andes Virus hantavirus.

How are people get treated? Is there a vaccine?

According to CDC, this virus has no specific of treatment, cure and even vaccine. What usual health centers do is to give those patients with a tank of oxygen to support them with their severe respiratory distress. On the other hand, those with HFRS ((hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome) may be hooked up to IVs to manage their electrolytes and fluids. and requires dialysis if extreme cases happened. They also urged the people that, "if you have been in an area with rodents are present and have symptoms of fever, deep muscle aches, and severe shortness of breathing, consult to your doctor."

For more information, visit the official page of CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/index.html?mod=article_inline

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