Even as most parts of the world continue to deal with coronavirus outbreak, including India, a death has been reported from China due to another virus - Hantavirus. According to a tweet by China's Global Times, a man from Yunnan Province was tested positive for Hantavirus after he died while going for work to Shandong Province in a bus. As many as 32 others were also tested positive for the virus. The world was quick to take note on the incident and Hantavirus started trending on social media platforms soon after.
What is Hantavirus? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that hantaviruses are a family of viruses which are spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied diseases in people.
It can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). The virus is not airborne. People can only be infected by hantavirus if they come in contact with urine, feces, and saliva of rodents and less frequently by a bite from an infected host.
What happens in Hantavirus? The symptoms of Hantavirus fatigue, fever, and muscle aches, along with headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems. This eventually leads to coughing and shortness of breath. The disease is believed to fatal with a mortality rate of 38 percent. The disease can also lead to low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute kidney failure.
Is there a reason to worry? Not yet. Unlike coronavirus, Hantavirus cannot spread from human to human. To get infected, you need to get in touch with rodents. It is unlikely to spread as fast as coronavirus.