News of Hantavirus in China create ripples

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A startling revelation by a Chinese state-run English newspaper, Global Times over Twitter today about the death of a person due to the new Virus called ‘Hantavirus’ created ripples across the globe.

According to the reports, a person in China dying due to a virus called hantavirus have spread panic at a time when the world is battling the pandemic of a novel coronavirus, which began in China. The novel coronavirus has killed over 16,000 people around the world as on date and many other countries are still battling to overcome.

The news of hantavirus has become one of the top trends on Twitter today. However, it turns out, hantavirus is not a new virus and has been infecting humans for decades.

Global Times, wrote on Twitter today that “A person from Yunnan Province died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus on Monday. He was tested positive for hantavirus. Other 32 people on the bus were tested.”

WHAT IS HANTAVIRUS?

Some people are calling it a new virus but so is not the case. United States’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in a journal writes that currently, the hantavirus genus includes more than 21 species.

In 1978, a causative agent Korean Hemerologic fever was isolated from small infected field rodent near Hantan river in South Korea.

The virus was named as Hantaan virus, after the name of the river Hantan. This initial discovery dates back to scientific approaches that were initiated after the Korean war (1951-1953), during which more than 3,000 cases of Korean hemorrhagic fever were reported among the United Nations (UN) troops.

In 1981, a new genus termed as “hantavirus” was introduced in the Bunyaviridae family, which included the viruses that cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).

CDC ON HANTAVIRUS

The United State’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on its website, writes that hantaviruses are a family of viruses spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied disease syndromes in people across the world.

“Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as ‘New World’ hantaviruses and may cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome [HPS],” CDC says. “Other hantaviruses, known as ‘Old World’ hantaviruses, are found mostly in Europe and Asia and may cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HANTAVIRUS?

If people get HPS, they will feel sick one to five weeks after they were around mice or rats that carried a hantavirus.

At first people with HPS will have: Fever, Severe muscle aches and Fatigue. After a few days, they will have a hard time breathing. Sometimes people will have headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach pain.

Usually, people do not have a runny nose, sore throat, or a rash, like in the case of Novel Coronavirus.

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