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Hantavirus: What is Hantavirus and How it spreads, it’s not a new virus

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Hantavirus: What is Hantavirus and How it spreads, it's not a new virus

A report in Global Times said that a man from China’s Yunnan province died from Hantavirus while on a bus to the Shandong province.

At the time when the world is grappling with coronavirus, other diseases like swine flu and bird flu have also started troubling a few countries. One such disease which is rearing its head in China, which is still battling coronavirus, is hantavirus.

Read More | How to Protect yourself from the Coronavirus

Hantavirus became one of the top trends on Twitter after the Chinese state media tweeted about one person in the country dying due the virus. However, it turns out, hantavirus is not a new virus and has been infecting humans for decades.

What is Hantavirus?

Report says that the virus is spread mainly from rodents. It goes on to say that infection with any of the hantavirus can cause hantavirus disease in people.

According to the CDC, “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)”.

In 1978, a causative agent Korean Hemerologic fever was isolated from small infected field rodent near Hantan river in South Korea.

The virus was named as Hantaan virus, after the name of the river Hantan. This initial discovery dates back to scientific approaches that were initiated after the Korean war (1951-1953), during which more than 3,000 cases of Korean hemorrhagic fever were reported among United Nations (UN) troops.

Symptoms of hantaviruses:

Early symptoms of HPS include fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. An infected person may also experience headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems.

In case of late symptoms, usually after four to 10 days, one may show coughing and shortness of breath. It can be fatal too in some cases.

In case of Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome, symptoms develop within one to two weeks after coming in contact with the virus. But in rare cases, it may take up to eight weeks to show symptoms.

Initial symptoms include intense headaches, back and abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea, and blurred vision. On the other hand, late symptoms are low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute kidney failure.

Via: India Today

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