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Hantavirus Explained: Causes, signs and symptoms, diagnosis and prevention

Amidst the corona outbreak, a man belonging to the Yunnan province of China dies of Hantavirus. After declaration about the new virus, more panic has been added to the global situation when the world is still trying to create ways to stop coronavirus that came from Wuhan. 

Causes: This virus leads to pulmonary syndrome. CDC states that Hantavirus belongs to the virus family that spreads primarily by rodents. It leads to various disease syndromes in humans. Each serotype of virus has a specific host species of rodents. This serotype virus is passed on to people through aerosolized virus that is passed via rodents’ saliva, feces, and urine. It can also pass when bitten by an infected rodent host. 

Signs and symptoms

Incubation period:  1-8 weeks

Symptoms:  Fever, muscle ache, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, abdominal pain, chills, diarrhoea,  nausea vomiting

Diagnosis:  Hantavirus is difficult to diagnose as it’s symptoms are similar to that of influenza and coronavirus. People having exposure to rats and have fatigue and fever need to be tested.

Treatment: No treatment has been invented for it. However, oxygen therapy in ICU along with other medical care can assist with respiratory issues. The earliest one gets to the ICU for the therapy, the safer it is. 

Prevention: One can prevent Hantavirus by reducing contact with rodents like rats at work or home. Proper clean up and pest control is advisable. 

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