Science

What is Hantavirus? Is it dangerous? All you need to know

The world is in the shackles of the mighty Coronavirus. With over 4,22,829 (as we speak) confirmed cases around the globe and no vaccination, the dread is real. News, social media and every other communication platform are flooded with dire reports of the same. 

And, while the world is desperately trying to find ways to curb this pandemic, another virus has stirred panic. It is called Hantavirus. 

What is Hantavirus?

rodentsHantavirus is an entire family of viruses that are spread by rodents, according to the Center for Disease Control. There are two “types” of Hantaviruses at the moment. New World and Old World. The prior cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and are common in the Americas while the latter cause Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome and are common in Asia and Europe. 

Please note that the virus spreads through aerosol. It is shed through saliva, feces, and urine. Cases of it spreading through bites have been rare so far. 

Is it dangerous?

We have some good news here. While Hantavirus can infect humans, it does not spread from one person to another. In other words, it does not spread through human contact. It only infects a human who comes in contact with an infected rodent. So, those who have a rodent infestation at home must be careful because they are at risk.

Remember that the virus has the capability to infect you through the air. If there’s an infestation, thus, the best thing to do is to call a pest control team to help you. Dusting, vacuuming, or brooming will not help. 

Who is at risk?

  • Anyone whose home has an infestation
  • Campers
  • Housekeeping staff
  • People living in old buildings or around unused buildings
  • People eating unhygienic food that may have been contaminated with rodent urine, saliva, or feces

Symptoms

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

Early symptoms are:

  1. Fever
  2. Stomach pain
  3. Chills
  4. Dizziness
  5. Headache
  6. Muscle ache
  7. Fatigue

Late symptoms are:

  1. Fluid-filled lungs
  2. Shortness of breath

Hantavirus causes

Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS)

Early symptoms are: 

  1. Inflammation and/or rash
  2. Redness of eyes
  3. Fever
  4. Headache – intense
  5. Nausea
  6. Flushing of face
  7. Back pain and abdominal pain

Late symptoms are:

  1. Vascular leakage
  2. Acute shock
  3. Low blood pressure
  4. Acute kidney failure

Should you be worried?

The news of a person in China dying due to Hantavirus has indeed caused more alarm bells to ring. We still haven’t recovered from Coronavirus, and another virus is already on its way! 

But hey, don’t worry about it at all. The spread of the Hantavirus is far less than Coronavirus. The prior is not going to infect you if you maintain hygiene and take adequate steps to keep yourself safe. 

Also, we advise that you focus on social distancing and staying at home because the Coronavirus pandemic is spreading way too quickly, and all of us are at risk because of its ability to infect through human contact.

Stay indoors and protect yourself! 

If you have a rodent infestation, though, please take adequate measures to eradicate all risks.

Janice Powell

I am interested in sharing articles related to Geometry of Molecules. It represents forms of Chemical equation with the help of structured atoms.

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