PANIC: 1Dead and 32 Tested As HANTAVIRUS (HPS) Hit China, 9 Other Countries Affected.

Hantavirus

A man from China’s Yunnan province tested positive for Hantavirus on Monday.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) 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 HPS. Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure. Even healthy individuals are at risk for HPS infection if exposed to the virus.

PANIC: 1Dead and 32 Tested As HANTAVIRUS (HPS) Hit China, 9 Other Countries Affected. 1

The infected Chinese man died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus, China’s Global Times reported. 32 other people have been tested, the report added.

Following his death, hantavirus became a trend on social media, with people panicking that it was another COVID-19 ready to cause a new pandemic. However, contrary to popular belief and WhatsApp university schooling us about it, let’s get a reality check about hantavirus.

Now here’s a low down of all you need to know about it;

Firstly, unlike coronavirus, hantavirus is not airborne. Humans who contract the hantavirus usually come into contact with rodents that carry the virus. “Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure. Even healthy individuals are at risk for HPS infection if exposed to the virus,” Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website.

Although HPS can’t be passed on from person to person, it can be contracted if someone touches their eyes, nose or mouth after touching rodent droppings, urine, or nesting materials, states Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet.

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Among the early symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, muscle ache, abdominal pain, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. About half of all HPS patients experience these symptoms.

Late symptoms include lungs fill with fluid and shortness of breath.

To date, no cases of HPS have been reported in the United States in which the virus was transmitted from one person to another. In fact, in a study of health care workers who were exposed to either patients or specimens infected with related types of hantaviruses (which cause a different disease in humans), none of the workers showed evidence of infection or illness.

In Chile and Argentina, rare cases of person-to-person transmission have occurred among close contacts of a person who was ill with a type of hantavirus called Andes virus.

How it’s all began

In May 1993, an outbreak of an unexplained pulmonary illness occurred in the southwestern United States, in an area shared by Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah known as “The Four Corners”. A young, physically fit Navajo man suffering from shortness of breath was rushed to a hospital in New Mexico and died very rapidly.

Eliminate or minimize contact with rodents in your home, workplace, or campsite. If rodents don’t find that where you are is a good place for them to be, then you’re less likely to come into contact with them. Seal up holes and gaps in your home or garage. Place traps in and around your home to decrease rodent infestation. Clean up any easy-to-get food.

PANIC: 1Dead and 32 Tested As HANTAVIRUS (HPS) Hit China, 9 Other Countries Affected. 2
Hantavirus

Recent research results show that many people who became ill with HPS developed the disease after having been in frequent contact with rodents and/or their droppings around a home or a workplace. On the other hand, many people who became ill reported that they had not seen rodents or rodent droppings at all. Therefore, if you live in an area where the carrier rodents are known to live, try to keep your home, vacation place, workplace, or campsite clean.

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Hantavirus

Severe HPS. Image courtesy D. Loren Ketai, M.D. I guess Medical personels can understand what the CT scan of this bronchial track means.

In Order to prevent, diagnose and Treatment HANTAVIRUS

Diagnosing HPS in an individual who has only been infected a few days is difficult because early symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, and fatigue are easily confused with influenza. However, if the individual is experiencing fever and fatigue and has a history of potential rural rodent exposure, together with shortness of breath, it would be strongly suggestive of HPS. If the individual is experiencing these symptoms they should see their physician immediately and mention their potential rodent exposure.

There is no specific treatment, cure, or vaccine for hantavirus infection. However, we do know that if infected individuals are recognized early and receive medical care in an intensive care unit, they may do better. In intensive care, patients are intubated and given oxygen therapy to help them through a period of severe respiratory distress.

The earlier the patient is brought in to intensive care, the better. If a patient is experiencing full distress, it is less likely the treatment will be effective.

Therefore, if you have been around rodents and have symptoms of fever, deep muscle aches, and severe shortness of breath, see your doctor immediately. Be sure to tell your doctor that you have been around rodents—this will alert your physician to look closely for any rodent-carried disease, such as HPS.

To also prevent getting this virus

Eliminate or minimize contact with rodents in your home, workplace, or campsite. If rodents don’t find that where you are is a good place for them to be, then you’re less likely to come into contact with them. Seal up holes and gaps in your home or garage. Place traps in and around your home to decrease rodent infestation. Clean up any easy-to-get food.

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Recent research results show that many people who became ill with HPS developed the disease after having been in frequent contact with rodents and/or their droppings around a home or a workplace. On the other hand, many people who became ill reported that they had not seen rodents or rodent droppings at all. Therefore, if you live in an area where the carrier rodents are known to live, try to keep your home, vacation place, workplace, or campsite clean.

Where Hantavirus is Found

Cases of human hantavirus infection occur sporadically, usually in rural areas where forests, fields, and farms offer suitable habitat for the virus’s rodent hosts. Areas around the home or work where rodents may live (for example, houses, barns, outbuildings, and sheds) are potential sites where people may be exposed to the virus. In the US and Canada, the Sin Nombre hantavirus is responsible for the majority of cases of hantavirus infection.

Several other hantaviruses are capable of causing hantavirus infection in the US. The New York hantavirus, carried by the white-footed mouse, is associated with HPS cases in the northeastern US. The Black Creek hantavirus, carried by the cotton rat, is found in the southeastern US.

Cases of HPS have been confirmed elsewhere in the Americas, including Canada, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Panama, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Hantavirus

We gotta be careful in Africa 🙌

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