Man dies from Hantavirus in China: All you need to know about the Hantavirus, and how it spreads
A man from China has tested positive for hantavirus.
China’s Global Times tweeted that the man from Yunnan Province died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a bus on Monday. The 32 other people on the bus were also tested for the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hantaviruses are a family of viruses that are spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied diseases in people. It can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). The disease is not airborne and can only spread to people if they come in contact with urine, feces, and saliva of rodents and less frequently by a bite from an infected host.
Symptoms that you know about the hantavirus
Early symptoms of HPS include fatigue, fever, and muscle aches, along with headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems. If left untreated, it can lead to coughing and shortness of breath and can be fatal, with a mortality rate of 38 percent, according to CDC.
While the initial symptoms of HFRS too remain the same, it can cause low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute kidney failure.
HPS can’t be passed on from person to person, while HFRS transmission between people is extremely rare.
As per the CDC, rodent population control is the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infections.
What is the history of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome? All that you know about the Hantavirus
In 1993, health officials noted the first recognized outbreak of HPS in the “Four Corners” area of the U.S., where the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah meet. Two otherwise healthy young people, a Navajo Indian, and his fiancée, suddenly became short of breath and died.
This unusual situation triggered a review of deaths in the four states that resulted in the identification of five other young people who recently died with similar breathing problems. During the next few weeks, health care providers treated additional people in the same geographic area with similar pulmonary syndromes.
Tissues from affected patients were sent to the CDC, where researchers searched for causes and found a link among the patients: infection with a previously unknown type of hantavirus. Since other known hantaviruses (in Asia and Europe) were known to be transmitted to people by rodents, the researchers started trapping rodents from June to August 1993 to determine if the virus was associated with the animals.
In November 1993, a rodent (a deer mouse) trapped by CDC researchers in a house where a person who developed the pulmonary syndrome lived yielded the previously unknown virus. In addition, army researchers soon isolated the same virus from an infected patient who also had exposures to mice. This new hantavirus was first termed Muerto Canyon virus, then Sin Nombre virus (SNV), and eventually simply hantavirus.
The disease caused by this virus was termed hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Further investigations suggested that other people had died from this infection in the past, as autopsy tissue contained the virus. When health researchers studied Navajo Indian medical traditions, the Navajo medical culture apparently recognized the disease and had associated it with mice. The outbreak in 1993 probably occurred because environmental factors led to favorable survival and proliferation of mice. The mouse population was about tenfold greater in 1993 than in 1992 in the Four Corners area.
A large, more recent outbreak of HPS occurred at Yosemite National Park, Calif., in 2012. The outbreak was linked to deer mouse dropping contamination in campsites (tent-cabins) used by tourists. This zoonotic (animal-to-person) transmission probably happened with a rodent infestation augmented by favorable nesting conditions like woodpiles in or near the campsites. At least three deaths occurred, and seven other infected people recovered.
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