Hantavirus Explained

CDC says: “Hantaviruses are a family of viruses spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied disease syndromes in people worldwide. 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. It is spread by the deer mouse.”

A man from Yunnan province tested positive for the Hantavirus on Monday, died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus.

What exactly is the Hantavirus?

According to the (CDC), hantaviruses are a family of viruses which are spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied diseases in people.

Now before we panic, it’s important to understand that the Hantavirus which causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

But it’s immprotant to understand that it’s caused by rodents.

Signs & Symptoms of Hantavirus

Early symptoms of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) has a small incubation period and symptoms deliver over 1 to 8 weeks. Early ones include

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • These occur in large muscle groups like thighs, hips, back and shoudlers
  • Others include headaches, dizziness, chills, abdominal pain, nausea vomiting, diarrhoea.
  • Later symptoms include lungs filling with fluid, which feel like pillow on one’s face.

Also See: Covid-19: The History of Pandemics

Causes of Hantavirus

Any man, woman, or child who is around mice or rats that carry harmful hantaviruses can get HPS.

  • Inhale virus particles from rodent urine, droppings or saliva that have been released into the air
  • Touch objects or eat food contaminated with the urine, droppings or saliva of infected rodents
  • Are bitten by a rodent infected with a hantavirus (this is rare)

As per the CDC, rodent population control is the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infections.

Also See: What is Coronavirus and COVID-19?


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