Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, China has reported another outbreak of a deadly disease, Hantavirus.
According to report, a man has died in Yunnan province of China after testing positive to Hantavirus.
The man died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus, China’s Global Times reports.
Hantavirus immediately became a trend on social media following the report with people panicking that it was another COVID-19 ready to cause a new pandemic. However, unlike coronavirus, hantavirus is not airborne.
Humans who contract the hantavirus usually come into contact with rodents that carry the virus. “Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure. Even healthy individuals are at risk for HPS infection if exposed to the virus,” Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said in its website.
Although HPS can’t be passed on from person to person, it can be contracted if someone touches their eyes, nose or mouth after touching rodent droppings, urine, or nesting materials, states Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet.
A person from Yunnan Province died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus on Monday. He was tested positive for #hantavirus. Other 32 people on bus were tested. pic.twitter.com/SXzBpWmHvW
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 24, 2020
What is Hantavirus?
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is defined by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) as “a severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory disease in humans caused by infection with hantaviruses.” Although like COVID-19, Hantavirus is a virus that affects one’s respiratory system, it is not an airborne virus and has been around for several years but cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
This virus is usually carried by rodents and humans can become infected with hantavirus through contact with rodent urine, saliva, or faeces. The Hantavirus disease can be contracted if a human touches their face, eyes, mouth or nose after touching rodent droppings, urine or nesting materials.
Hantavirus and coronavirus have a lot of common symptoms including fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea, shortness of breath etc. Additionally, infected Hantavirus individuals might also experience muscle pain, dizziness and chills.
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