Hantavirus is not a new disease in the system but we believe there is this fear in people that it might be another pandemic because of earlier reports today about a Chinese national in Yunnan who passed away after being infected with the virus but there is nothing fear and here is why.
Like all other virus genera known to mankind, the hantavirus has been a known causal factor behind two diseases — the hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in North and South America, and haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Europe and Asia. The virus is spread primarily by four very specific species of rodents, and even their spread to humans is not under unrestricted conditions such as skin contact or aerosolised conditions.
How is it contracted?
Diseases caused due to exposure to the hantavirus can be as serious as any viral disease has the potential to be. The US centres for disease control and prevention (CDC) states clearly that the greatest risk of contracting either of the two hantavirus-related diseases is by being in contact with one of the four following types of rodents — the cotton rat, the white-footed mouse, the rice rat and the deer mouse. The most common way of contracting the virus, as is stated, is by humans inhaling air contaminated by particles from droppings, urine and saliva of the four aforementioned rodents.
Should you panic?
Long story short — no, you shouldn’t. While the timing and the circumstances of the death (due to the coronavirus pandemic) is not the best, it is important to not give in to alarmist reports, and refrain yourself from panicking. While it is true that the hantavirus has proved to have led to deaths, it has over time been certified to be non-contagious. As a result, the solitary death should not make you spread the word of a potential pandemic in the making.
However, as always, it is important to remain alert to hygiene essentials. If you spot any rat infestation nearby, be sure to take steps and actions against it. Steer clear of any contaminated area that you can visibly spot, and inform the authorities if you spot such an infestation.