A man in China is confirmed to die after testing positive with Hantavirus has caused a lot of curiosity. Social media started trending with information about Hantavirus which just claimed a life in the midst of a storm created by a novel coronavirus (covid-19).
At a time when the world is implementing strict measures to stop peoples’ movement and slow down the spread of the virus, the news becomes relevant, but there’s nothing to worry about.
Hantavirus immediately became a trend on social media following the report with people panicking that it was another COVID-19 ready to cause a new pandemic. However, unlike coronavirus, hantavirus is not airborne.
Earlier, Global Times from China had confirmed the news of the death from Hantavirus
It is worth noting that unlike human to human transmission of the novel coronavirus, humans who contract the hantavirus usually come into direct 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.
Is the Hantavirus Fatal?
Yes. HPS can be fatal. It has a mortality rate of 38%.
Can it cause a pandemic?
No, the virus normally spreads only from direct contact with infected rodents. Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the only major risk for hantavirus exposure.
What are the odds of getting hantavirus?
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is rare — the chance of getting the disease is 1 in 13,000,000, which is less likely than being struck by lightning.
However, the virus is much more deadly than covid-19. The prognosis of HPS is fair to poor because currently, about 62% of patients recover, while about 38% will die. The prognosis may be better if the patient gets his/her diagnosis early and given support in an intensive care unit in a hospital.
Signs & Symptoms of Hantavirus
Due to the small number of HPS cases, the “incubation time” is not positively known. However, on the basis of limited information, it appears that symptoms may develop between 1 and 8 weeks after exposure to fresh urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents.
The bottom line, the virus is not capable of creating a pandemic like a novel coronavirus at the moment. It is least of our worry while we combat the covid-19 pandemic.