Hantavirus: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatments
The beginning of the year 2020 marked the outspread of pandemic Covid-19 or Novel-Coronavirus worldwide. While the Covid-19 is already causing thousands of deaths around the world, another deadly virus is surfacing in the news. The name of this virus is Hantavirus and its point of origin is said to be in the United States. Furthermore, a person died due to this virus while on a bus in the Yunnan province of China. Although, Hantavirus is not a new virus, yet a death caused by this virus has created panic around the globe. This is because of the current global health crisis created by Novel Coronavirus. Thus, to be more cautious about Hantavirus, let’s know more about its symptoms, causes, diagnosis & treatments.
What Is Hantavirus?
Hantavirus is a rodent-borne virus i.e. it is carried and spread among humans via rodents. The origin of this virus dates back to the year 1993 in the southwestern part of the United States. This virus is mainly carried & transmitted by rodents like mice and rats, especially the deer mice. Hantavirus is further known to cause various life-threatening respiratory diseases. In the USA, these viruses are named ‘New World Viruses’ and are known to cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). In European & Asian countries, these viruses are named ‘Old World Viruses’ that cause Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS).
Causes Of Hantavirus
The Hantavirus is mainly carried and transmitted by rodents to human beings. This virus is not known to spread from one human to another. The most common rodent to carry this virus is the deer mouse. As this mouse is common around people in barns or houses, it can easily infect others. Furthermore, a person who has been infected by this virus can get HPS(Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome) or HFRS(Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome) disease. Thus, it is better to stay away from rodents and contact a doctor immediately if you experience its symptoms.
The most common causes behind Hantavirus outspread include physical contact with the following:
- Rodent Urine
- Rodent Saliva
- Air contaminated with rodent urine or saliva
- Infected Animals
- Furniture or areas infected by the rodent urine or saliva
Symptoms Of Hantavirus
If we talk about the symptoms of Hantavirus, it usually takes 1 week to 10 weeks for them to appear. This symptom may be of the early phase symptoms and late phase symptoms. To provide you with a better idea, here are the most common symptoms
- Early Phase Symptoms
- High Body Temperature
- Severe Muscle Pain Around The Whole Body
- Late Phase Symptoms
- Difficulty In Breathing
- Feeling Cold
- Stomach Ache
Diagnosis Of Hantavirus
The viral infections by Hantavirus are usually diagnose by a medical professional after some tests. Various blood tests are to check the signs of this infection or disease are important. The most common signs include higher levels of WBCs than regular levels and very low platelets count. Blood tests are also important to see if the kidneys and other body organs are functioning properly or not. Apart from these, the doctor also asks if the patient is experiencing the above symptoms.
Treatment Of Hantavirus
As for now, there is no proven treatment or vaccine for the Hantavirus infection. However, you can get medical treatment to suppress its symptoms in the beginning. This is only possible if you recognize symptoms and diagnosis is in the early stage. In the late stages, this infection can further cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). This disease has no cure and the mortality rate for HPS is 38%. Thus, you just have to get whatever treatment is possible and stay away from rodents. Also, you have to tell the doctor about physical contact with a rodent to provide them with a clear idea.
The Bottom Line!
So this was everything we need to know about virus, and its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. While only one case this virus in China, yet we have to be careful. This is important more so because as we see Covid-19 or Novel Coronavirus has become pandemic and has taken almost 20,000 lives globally, we need to nip every such potential virus in the bud. Thus, if you find any other cases of Hantavirus in your area, get quick support from rodent controllers and inform authorities timely.