Amid the hubbubs of coronavirus, a recently popped up topic, Hantavirus, is yet again perturbing already frightened humankind with the same fears of losing lives.
A few days back, Global Times reported about the demise of a man in China due to hantavirus. Right after the news, people started trending #Hantavirus on social media. Where some were found referring to it as a new threat to human lives, others were trying to calm their anxiety, calling it as an already existing infection.
The news of hantavirus glinted the term “virus”, leaving people under the notions of having attacked by another fatal pandemic similar to COVID – 19. But, the reality is not the same.
Reality of Hantavirus
Hantavirus is a virus that causes infection, not disease, in rodents. But, unlike rodents, some strains of this infection may lead to fatal diseases in humans like Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). HPS is an infrequent respiratory sickness that arises after inhaling aerosolized excreta (feces and urine) of infected rodents. Feces, urine, and saliva of affected rodents are the prime sources of this infection’s entry into the human body.
According to experts, headache, fever, dizziness, abdominal pain, muscle ache, chills, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea are the major symptoms of hantavirus.
The existence of this virus is not any new; it has been there for years. The virus is nothing similar to what people are perceiving. Unlike COVID – 19, it is non-communicable and is not transported through the air.
As per a statement given on the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, the most risk of hantavirus remains in people who have rats in or around their homes. Several such videos can be seen on the internet, which shows Chinese people consuming raw or cooked rats. And this can be a possible reason that the expired man of China got infected by hantavirus.
At this crucial time, when the world is already anxious and panicked about the unconstrained outbreak of novel coronavirus, it is essential to update yourself with the right information and make a distance from frightening rumors. Follow preventions, not grapevines. As a preventive measure to hantavirus, the advice is not touching your face, eyes, nose, mouth, etc. after coming in contact with rats or rodent droppings.