Hantavirus

Even as the world is gripped by the coronavirus outbreak and facing a disaster like never before in complete lockdown a Chinese man dying from the hantavirus has sent further shockwaves on the internet.

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The man was reportedly traveling by a bus in the Yunan province when he suddenly died and tests revealed the presence of the deadly hantavirus and efforts are on to test the other 32 co-passengers.

The Hantavirus is actually not a new one as claimed by the heavily shared Whatsapp community but has been in existence already. Unlike the coronavirus, the hantavirus is not communicable from humans to humans but rather from rodents to humans according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If a person happens to touch the urine, saliva, feces or nesting materials of a rat or other rodents and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes the hantavirus can affect him.

The symptoms of hantavirus are

  • Fever greater than 101◦F, chills, body aches, headaches.
  • Nausea and vomiting and abdominal pain.
  • New rash (faint red spots)
  • A dry cough followed by rapid onset of breathing difficulty.

Though the symptoms are somewhat similar, from the reports, it is clear that citizens need not fear the hantavirus like the coronavirus that is on rampage affecting four lakh people worldwide with a death toll of 16,500 at the time of this writing.

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