China has just reported a fresh outbreak of a pathogen that is more fatal than coronavirus after a man died from Hantavirus, sparking fears he may have spread the disease to many others.
A person from Yunnan Province in China died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus on Monday. He was tested positive for hantavirus. The other 32 people on the bus are being tested to see whether the disease has made the jump from rodents to humans.
Among the early symptoms of the hantavirus include fever, headache, muscle ache, abdominal pain, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrohea.
About half of all Hantavirus patients experience these symptoms.
Moreover, late symptoms include the lungs filling with fluid and shortness of breath.
In addition, some Hantaviruses can cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) as the disease progresses.
Fatality ranges from 5-15 percent for HFRS caused by the new outbreak.
Fortunately, the deadly Hantavirus is much more contagious as a social media panic than as a biologic infectious agent.
According to the United States Centres for Disease Control, unlike coronavirus, hantavirus does not spread in the air.
In fact, humans who contract the Hantavirus usually come into contact with rodents, such as rats, that carry the virus.
The Centres for Disease Control went on to say that infection with any of the Hantavirus mutations can cause hantavirus disease in people.
The CDC website said: “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)”.
“Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure.
”Even healthy individuals are at risk for Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) infection if exposed to the virus”.
However, HPS can’t be passed on from person to person.
It can be contracted if someone touches their eyes, nose or mouth after touching rodent droppings, urine, or nesting materials.
Hantavirus is named for the Hantan River area in South Korea.
An outbreak was observed and was isolated there in 1976 by Doctor Ho-Wang Lee.