HANTAVIRUS: A new Threat


Hantavirus is transmitted through rodents host causing HPV and Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome Hantavirus Pulmonary Virus HPS is a severe, fatal and respiratory disease in humans caused by infection with hantavirus. Anyone who comes in contact with rodents host that carry hantavirus. In Chile and Argentina, rare cases of person to person transmission have occurred among close contact of a person who was ill with a type of hantavirus called Andes virus. Transmission Home and workplace around which rodents live offer suitable habitats for virus's rodent hosts. Certain species like deer mouse, white-footed mouse, and cotton rat are the prime sources of transmission. Viruses are discharged in their urine, droppings, and saliva when contaminated air breath in the virus is transmitted. Symptoms They include fatigue, fever, and muscle aches especially in thighs, hips, back, and shoulders. There may be headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal pain. The disease can be fatal with a mortality rate of 38%. Diagnosis and Treatment The patient is identified with fever, fatigue, and shortness of breath and exposure to rodents host carrying hantavirus. If patients are detected earlier by symptoms, they receive medical care in an ICU. Oxygen therapy can be given to address severe respiratory distress. Prevention Eliminate or minimize contact with rodents in your home and workplace. Seal up holes and gaps in-home or garage, maintain daily hygiene by clearing leftover food.

Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS) It is a group of illnesses caused by hantavirus from the family Bunyaviridae. It includes diseases like Korean hemorrhagic fever, epidemic hemorrhagic fever, and nephropathic epidemic. Transmission It is mainly transmitted by rodents carrying viruses. People are infected when they are exposed to aerosolized urine, droppings or saliva of infected rodents. Transmission occurs when urine and other materials are directly introduced into the mucous membrane of eyes, nose, and mouth. The striped field mouse, yellow neck field mouse, and brown mouse are the main carriers of viruses. Symptoms Early symptoms are shown within one to two weeks after exposure to infectious material. Symptoms may include intense headaches, back, and abdominal pain, fever, chill, blurred vision, and nausea. Late symptoms include low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage and acute kidney failure which can cause severe fluid overload. Diagnosis and Treatment A serologic test is done which detects the presence of hantavirus the antigen in tissues by immunohistochemical staining and microscope examination or evidence of hantavirus RNA sequence in blood or tissue. Treatment includes supportive therapy which includes careful management of patient's fluid (hydration) and electrolyte levels, maintenance of correct oxygen and blood pressure levels. Dialysis may be required to correct fluid overload. It can be fatal with death rate ranging from 5-15%. Prevention Rodent control is the primary step to curtail this illness. Rodent population near the human community must be controlled and rodents must be excluded from homes and workplaces. Individuals must avoid direct contact with rodent urine, saliva, and excreta.