The news of a Chinese national dying due to another virus in China sent many down the panic street that added fuel to the scaremongering among citizens world over, the truth is, there is no reason to panic over Hantavirus as it has never caused any epidemic ever.
Earlier on Tuesday (March 24) China's Global Times reported that a man from Yunnan province died after he tested positive for Hantavirus, which is not air-borne.
The deceased was traveling to Shandong Province on a chartered bus when he collapsed and died. The authorities after establishing the identity of the dead man, tested all 32 passengers on the bus but no details were released, the publication added.
Here is why there no need to panic over Hantavirus
Yes, it is true that the virus is often deadly but the infection is very rare, and potential exposures occur much more often than infection.
And what is even more important to understand is that Hantavirus is not spread by infected humans or by other animals. Furthermore, the virus does not survive long in dust after the mice that carry it have been eradicated.
The Hantavirus has always been around but it was recognized only around 1993.
Why Hantavirus should not make you stress?
Hantavirus should be least of your worries, especially in the time of the Coronavirus (COVID 19) that according to WHO's March 23 update, has killed over 14,000 people and infected more than 334,00 people globally.
Hantavirus gets spread usually by rodents such as rats, which in most cases are present everywhere, and it causes the mysterious "flu-like" symptoms and kills about 36 percent of infected people — which usually number around 20 per year.
Hantavirus cases have occurred in the US, besides European countries, and there have been cases from even in India and Mexico.
The virus has never been seen to spread from human to human — it is only transferred via contact with rodents or breathing in of dust and fecal matter from those rodents. There are usually about 20 cases of Hantavirus reported to the CDC every year,
These three reasons listed by the CDC should help you dispel all your fears about Hantavirus:
- Hantavirus is not spread from person to person.
- You cannot become infected by being near a person who has Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.
- The virus, which is able to survive in the environment (for example, in contaminated dirt and dust), can be killed by most household disinfectants, such as bleach or alcohol.
That said, it is important to know and remember that till now the Hantavirus has turned into an epidemic and the chances it happens are much less.
Coronavirus (COVID 19) is the real threat
The World Health Organization on March 24 announced that the US could become the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So it does have that potential," WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said, according to the Reuters news agency.
The COVID 19 fatalities in the US are nearing 600 and there are more than 46,000 infected people across the nation, according to Johns Hopkins University, reported CBS News.