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A case of hantavirus has been reported in China. Here’s why you shouldn’t worry.

USAToday.com —-

A man who died in China Monday reportedly tested positive for a hantavirus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should worry another pandemic is coming.

Hantaviruses are a family of virus that spread through rodents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Yunnan Province, a man died on his way back to Shandong Province, according to Global Times, an English-language Chinese news outlet.

“He was tested positive for #hantavirus. Other 32 people on bus were tested,” the news outlet tweeted. 

The tweet, sent amid a pandemic caused by a new coronavirus, has been shared more than 15,000 times.

Though countries across the globe are on high alert due to uncertainty around the coronavirus, there is no indication that the hantavirus poses a global public health threat.

According to the CDC, hantavirus cases are rare, and they spread as a result of close contact with rodent urine, droppings or saliva. 

Certain kinds of rats and mice in the United States can carry the virus, which is transmitted when someone breathes in contaminated air.

“The hantaviruses that cause human illness in the United States cannot be transmitted from one person to another,” the CDC says on its website. Rare cases in Chile and Argentina have seen person-to-person transmission when a person is in close contact with someone sickened by a type of hantavirus called Andes virus, the CDC says.

In the U.S., the virus can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a severe respiratory disease that can be fatal. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems. Coughing and shortness of breath can occur later in the disease as the lungs fill with liquid, the CDC says,

Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, found mostly in Europe and Asia, can also occur, which causes pain, fever, chills, nausea, and blurred vision, the CDC says. More serious symptoms include acute kidney failure.

Cases in the United States have typically been concentrated in the western and southwestern states.

From 1993 to 2017, there were only 728 confirmed hantavirus cases in the United States, with most being non-fatal, according to CDC data. In comparison, since late January, when the first known coronavirus case was identified in the U.S., there have been 46,805 confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

In May 1993, a hantavirus outbreak occurred in an area between Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. A 2012 outbreak in Yosemite sickened 10 people. In seven states, 17 people were infected in a 2017 outbreak.

2 comments on “A case of hantavirus has been reported in China. Here’s why you shouldn’t worry.

  1. Many of us long-distance backpackers? Know all about Hantavirus. This is a danger when you get to the shelters set up on the trails as they are habitats for mice. Some hikers have come down with hantavirus just by laying their sleeping bags down on the floor of the shelter without sweeping it first cause they lay it down right on top of mice crap. Or? The mice come out at night while we sleep and they walk all over you, get into your packs if you are not careful. (I actually had a mouse once eat through the top of my backpacks butt sac.

    But? You are told what to do to prevent catching it. First of course? Is to clean the shelter floor. But other ways are to store your food outside of the shelter and not in your pack on the food hook slides that they have or the bear boxes they have which keeps the critters out. You also hide your toilet paper. Funny idea but those mice? LOVE toilet paper.

    Hantavirus can be deadly and that is why you go to shelters like on the Appalachian Trail? Many of them have signs posted on how to deal with the mice to prevent getting the disease.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing. This is some good information to know.

    Like

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