Is Hanta Virus A New Virus?

At this time, when the world is fighting against dreaded coronavirus pandemic, a new virus came in the list of viruses.

Yes, you are thinking right; it’s Hantavirus. Is Hantavirus new? Let’s find out.

A report in the morning is stating the death of a person in China due to Hantavirus. A man from Yunnan Province when he was going way back to Shandong Province on a bus died due to hantavirus. People went frantic on social media, and Hantavirus was in the top searches on Twitter today.

Hantavirus emerged in the 1950s in the American-Korean war in Korea. More than 21 species are included in the Hantavirus genus. It is mostly found in Asia and Europe and is spread from rodents.

The virus is shed in rodent’s urine, saliva, and droppings. When rodents urinate, nesting material is being aroused, and small droplets that contain the virus get into the air. This process is termed as airborne transmission.

However, it can be spread in many ways as if someone is being bitten by the rodents containing the virus. Though, human to human transmission is rare. 

Hanta virus may cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)and Haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). It is infecting human from decades and is not a new virus

Symptoms of Hantavirus

  • Dry cough with breathing difficulty
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fever, body aches and headache

 There is no test to diagnose this virus rather than a reliable indicator of infection is rodent exposure accompanied by fatigue and fever. 

There is no specific treatment as well for Hantavirus infection. If caught in the early stage, it is curable. Treatment may include the use of medications to support blood pressure, oxygen therapy, fluid replacement, etc. 

After treatment recovery is slow and weakness and impaired exercise tolerance can be felt for some days.

Hantavirus Pulmonary syndrome can be fatal and has a 38% mortality rate, according to the US’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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