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Current Affairs

Hantavirus infection in China

Date: 25 March 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A man in China died of hantavirus, a disease spread through rodents, in Yunnan province. The 32 other passengers in the bus with the man were tested for the virus.

 

Background

The hantavirus report came as China is currently grappling with coronavirus which has resulted in the death of 3,277 people in the country, mostly in its epicentre Hubei province and its capital Wuhan.

 

Details

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is a severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory disease in humans caused by infection with hantaviruses.

  • Anyone who comes into contact with rodents that carry hantaviruses is at risk of contracting the infection.

  • If infected individuals are recognised early and receive medical care in an intensive care unit, they may do bette.

  • In intensive care, patients are intubated and given oxygen therapy to help them through the period of severe respiratory distress.

  • The World Health Organization has categorised hantavirus infection as zoonotic, or a disease which is communicable from animals to humans, viral respiratory disease which spreads from rodents.

  • The symptoms of the disease include headache, dizziness, chills fever, muscle pain, and stomach problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. The next stage of the infection begins with the onset of respiratory distress and low blood pressure.

  • The infection in humans is acquired primarily through inhalation of aerosols or contact with infected rodent excreta, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents.

  • Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as “New World” hantaviruses and may cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Other hantaviruses, known as “Old World” hantaviruses, are found mostly in Europe and Asia and may cause haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).