What's New :
GS Paper-3, Batch Starts: 2nd December
GS Paper-2, Batch Starts: 2nd December

China reports Hantavirus infection

  • Category
    Health Issues
  • Published
    31st Mar, 2020

Reports have emerged of another virus, termed the Hantavirus, surfacing in China, at a time when the country was on a path to recovery from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Context

Reports have emerged of another virus, termed the Hantavirus, surfacing in China, at a time when the country was on a path to recovery from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

About

  • The Hantavirus comes from a family of viruses that spreads mainly from rodents and can cause a range of diseases.
  • The term ‘hantavirus’ refers to a genus covering several tens of species or genotypes globally; differing in their virulence to humans.
  • Symptoms: The symptoms of the infection are fatigue, muscle ache and fever.
    • The muscle ache appears particularly in thighs, hips, back and also in shoulders.
    • The affected person can also experience stomach pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and headache.
    • In more serious cases, it can lead to kidney failure and lung disease.

How does it spread?

  • The virus can emerge from the rodent’s feces, urine or saliva and can travel through air. Humans can become infected if they are bitten by an infected animal.
  • Each hantavirus serotype has a specific rodent host species and is spread to people via aerosolized virus that is shed in urine, feces, and saliva, and less frequently by a bite from an infected host.
  • There are, however, very rare cases of human transmission from the Hantavirus.

Background:

  • The disease was officially reported in May 1993, when a physically fit young man in the US’ New Mexico died.
  • He had suffered from a shortness of breath and was rushed to hospital where he died. This pulmonary insufficiency was later termed the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.
  • There are several strains of hantavirus. Depending on the strain, the virus affects different organs:
    • The lungs, causing hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS): Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as “New World” hantaviruses and may cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).
    • The kidneys, causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS): Other hantaviruses, known as “Old World” hantaviruses, are found mostly in Europe and Asia and may cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).
    • Nephropathia epidemica (NE), a mild form of HFRS, caused by Puumala hantavirus, and occurring in Europe; 

Is it treatable?

  • There is no known treatment or vaccine for the virus. Doctors can treat a patient’s symptoms at best.
  • The best way to remain protected from an infection is to avoid contact with infected animals, since it cannot be transmitted between humans.
  • The mortality rate from a Hantavirus infection is between five and 15 percent.

In contrast to hantavirus illnesses, COVID-19 has encircled the globe in a matter of months since its initial detection in late 2019. The total count of those infected by novel coronavirus globally is nearing the 400,000 mark and scientists are yet to find a cure for it. The global death toll has crossed the 16,500 mark.

X

Verifying, please be patient.

Enquire Now