With the death of a Chinese man due to Hantavirus, the internet is going berserk in its search for the term Hantavirus. The fact is that the world is frightened and lost in coronavirus infections and death. Had another death occurred due to Covid -19 people would have taken it in their stride. But the mention of another virus is bound to create doubts, panic and lots of questions in people’s minds.
The US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already has information about this virus. CDC states that the Hantavirus is spread by rodents. It gets transmitted to humans through the ingestion of rodent waste like urine, droppings and saliva.
According to the CDC though Hantavirus cases are rare they have been recorded in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. In fact, an interesting fact is that though this virus cannot be transmitted from human to human, Chile and Argentina did have cases where the virus spread amongst humans.
Here is what needs to be remembered. The United States is home to certain kinds of rats and mice that can carry the Hantavirus. The virus which can become airborne can infect anyone who breaths in that air. The virus gets released into the air when rodent biological waste gets disturbed. The bottom line is ingesting rodent droppings, urine or saliva infects a person with Hantavirus.
Unfortunately, Hantavirus has no specific cure or vaccine. According to CDC data from 1993 to 2017, there were only 728 confirmed Hantavirus cases in the United States. Most were non-fatal.
Here are some historical facts:
In May 1993, in an area between Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah a Hantavirus outbreak had occurred.
Another one was recorded in 2012 at Yosemite. It had sickened 10 people.
The latest outbreak before today was in 2017 when amidst seven states, 17 people were infected.