Hantavirus is yet another outbreak caused by a virus that has reemerged again in 2020. The symptoms of hantavirus infection share many of its similarities with other virus borne infections like influenza and the latest Covid-19 disease. Although the hantavirus death rate is very low, it is quite capable of killing people. The virus killed one man in China causing panic among people. The hantavirus cough shook the world as the hashtag was shared on Twitter over 600 times as soon as the news of the man dying emerged.
Although the virus has been quite unknown and that’s why it seemed like another new virus that was out there destroying mankind, the appearance of this virus is not new at all. The virus existed as far back as the Korean war and cases of the virus were seen before in a lot of other countries including South Korea, the United States, Argentina, Chile, etc.
How Hantavirus Spread Among Humans
Hantavirus spreads among humans through exposure to infected rodent residue like urine, saliva, droppings, etc. People who work with close proximity to rats are at most risk of being infected by the virus. Hantavirus from mice can be avoided by limiting or eliminating contact with mice. The virus may or may not spread to a healthy person from an infected one. The kind of virus found in the United States are pretty unlikely to spread between humans. But some specific kinds of hantavirus like the Andes virus might have the ability to spread between people.
Two disorders are caused by hantavirus infection. The two disorders are Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) and Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS). The countries belonging to the American continents generally suffer from HPS. The Asian countries mainly Korea, China, Russia, and also Western Europian Countries suffer from HFRS.
Symptoms Of Hantavirus
A hantavirus patient shows flu or influenza-like symptoms in the initial stage of the infection. The early symptoms also match with another highly contagious virus borne disease, the coronavirus disease.
Symptoms of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)
The HPS disorder mainly affects the kidneys, heart, and lungs in a negative way. The early symptoms imitate the flu symptoms and therefore can be hard to distinguish from real flu. The severe symptoms appear after about 4 to 10 days after the person has been infected.
The early symptoms of the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) are-
- Pain in hips, thighs, back, and shoulders
Severe symptoms of HPS include-
- Shortness of Breath
- Feelings of tightness around the chest due to the fillings of the lungs with fluid
Symptoms Of Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS)
The signs and symptoms of Hantavirus usually start to show within 1 or 2 weeks after a person has been exposed to the virus. However, it may even take up to even as long as 8 weeks.
The early symptoms that might indicate the HFRS infection are-
- Chills or Fever
- Back Pain
- Abdominal Pain
- Flushing or reddening of the face
- Redness or Inflammation of eyes
- Blurry vision
- Headache or Migraine
While the early symptoms of HFRS resemble those of the flu symptoms, the severe symptoms include-
- Vascular Leakage
- Low Blood Pressure or Low BP
- Acute Stress Reaction (ACD) or Mental Shock
- Kidney Failure
Fatality Of HPS And HFRS
The HPS is quite fatal. It has a death rate of about 38%. The fatality or death rate of HFRS depends upon the kind of hantavirus that causes the disease. The total fatality ranges from 1% to 15%.
When Should You Visit A Doctor
If you are a person who frequently comes in contact with rats you should immediately go to the doctor if you experience one or more of the early symptoms of hantavirus after some days of coming in contact with rats. Both diseases can cause death, so you should be careful. Hantavirus treatment is possible if diagnosed and treated at the right time.
Now you know about the symptoms of Hantavirus. Try to prevent hantavirus as much as possible with these 8 measures. Look out if you or anyone in your surrounding have any of these symptoms. And if yes then visit the hospital as soon as possible because the sooner patient reaches hospital much is the chance of its survival.