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Man dies from hantavirus in China: All you need to know about the virus, and how it spreads

Even as the coronavirus outbreak takes the world by storm, a number of other diseases are also rearing their ugly heads. Cases of swine flu and bird flu have already been reported in India and other countries. Now, a man from China has tested positive for hantavirus.

China’s Global Times tweeted that the man from Yunnan Province died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a bus on Monday. The 32 other people on the bus were also tested for the virus.

What exactly is the hantavirus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 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 disease is not airborne and can only spread to people if they come in contact with urine, feces, and saliva of rodents and less frequently by a bite from an infected host.

Symptoms of Hantavirus

Early symptoms of HPS include fatigue, fever, and muscle aches, along with headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems. If left untreated, it can lead to coughing and shortness of breath and can be fatal, with a mortality rate of 38 percent, according to CDC.

While the initial symptoms of HFRS too remain the same, it can cause low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute kidney failure.

HPS can't be passed on from person to person, while HFRS transmission between people is extremely rare.

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

Treatment of Hantavirus

Diagnosis of this virus is difficult as the symptoms might confuse. The symptoms of this infection are a lot like influenza, much like the coronavirus symptoms. Blood tests are the most effective way to diagnose Hantavirus.

In scientific terms, the Hantavirus is something which represents several groups of RNA-containing viruses. This virus is dangerous and yes it could kill a lot of people if it will spread too. So far, this isn’t something we are expecting to happen. Overall, Hantavirus is a killing virus it is just different to Coronavirus.

There is no cure or treatment to kill the virus. No specific treatment other than medical care and ICU has been found to cure the infection. Only oxygen therapy can help with respiratory distress. The best way for the patient is to reach the hospital as soon as possible.

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