Islamabad, 24 March 2020 – Talha Akhtar:
At the time when the world is grappling with coronavirus, other diseases like swine flu and bird flu have also started troubling a few countries. One such disease which is rearing its head in China, which is still battling coronavirus, is hantavirus.
On Twitter, China’s Global Times wrote that one man in the country had tested positive for hantavirus. According to the state media, the man, a resident of Yunnan Province, died on a bus while travelling to Shandong Province for work on Monday.
What is hantavirus?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that hantaviruses are a family of viruses which is transmitted mainly by rodents and can show varied disease syndrome in people. The name of hantavirus varies depending on the region. In America, it is known as “New World” hantaviruses, while in Europe and Asia, it is known as “Old World” hantaviruses.
New World hantaviruses may cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), while Old World hantavirus may cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).
Symptoms of hantaviruses
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome: Early symptoms of HPS include fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. An infected person may also experience headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems. In case of late symptoms, usually after four to 10 days, one may show coughing and shortness of breath. It can be fatal too in some cases.
Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome: In case of HFRS, symptoms develop within one to two weeks after coming in contact with the virus. But in rare cases, it may take up to eight weeks to show symptoms. Initial symptoms include intense headaches, back and abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea, and blurred vision. On the other hand, late symptoms are low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute kidney failure.