Hantavirus not new to India! Everything you need to know about the new virus from China

Hantavirus not new to India! Everything you need to know about the new virus from China

With the news of a new virus-related death in China,  everyone is curious to know about the hantavirus. Will it land another blow on a world already reeling from coronavirus?
Published: 24th March 2020 06:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2020 07:09 PM  |  A+A-
Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches.
Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches. (Photo | AP)
By Online Desk
Even as the world is grappling with the crisis triggered by coronavirus, which emerged from China's Wuhan, another microbe has drawn the attention of the world.
A tweet by China's Global Times newspaper said, "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."
With the news of a new virus-related death in China,  everyone is curious to know about the hantavirus. Will it land another blow on a world already reeling from coronavirus?
What is hantavirus?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hantaviruses are a family of viruses spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied disease syndromes in people worldwide.
Infection with hantaviruses can cause Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS) in Europe and Asia, where the 'old world' strain is found, and the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) in the US,  where the 'new world' strain is found, according to the CDC. 
Is hantavirus new to India?
No. According to a The New Indian Express report, there was a hantavirus scare in Karnataka and people even succumbed to the disease in 2011.
What's the mode of transmission of hantavirus?
Cases of human hantavirus infection occur sporadically, usually in rural areas where forests, fields, and farms offer a suitable habitat for the virus’s rodent hosts. Areas around the home or work where rodents may co-habit (for example, houses, barns, outbuildings, and sheds) are potential sites where people may be exposed to the virus.
The rodents shed the virus in their urine, droppings, and saliva. The virus is mainly transmitted to people when they breathe in air contaminated with the virus.
Symptoms
Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in the large muscle groups - thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. These symptoms are universal along with headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems.
Treatment
There is no specific treatment, cure, or vaccine for hantavirus infection. Early identification remains the key. 
In Europe and Asia, according to America's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Old World" hantaviruses are found.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has this to say when it comes to treatment: "The treatment of hantavirus disease is mainly symptomatic. Maintaining the fluid balance, while avoiding over-hydration in a potentially oliguric patient is of critical importance. In case of renal insufficiency, dialysis may be required."
A more vital fact comes after this. "Because European hantaviruses do not spread from human to human, no isolation is needed," the ECDC says.
Ribavirin is the only drug used in severe hantavirus infections in Europe.
CDC talks of only two outbreaks - the latest being a Seoul virus infection in 2017 that "infected 17 people in 7 states". 
Before that, in November 2012, 10 cases were reported.
These indicate that the hantavirus thankfully might not be as easily transmissible as the coronavirus.
To know more about hantavirus, click here.
    Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
    (Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)
    TAGS
    hantavirushantavirus Chinahantavirus China deathwhat is hantavirushantavirus IndiaCoroanviruscoronavirus updatesCOVID 19ChinaIndiahantavirus explainer

    Post a Comment