Hantavirus kills man in China amid COVID-19; What is the new threat?

A man in China died on Monday after testing positive for Hantavirus, leading many to criticise the country for being responsible for a new outbreak amid a global pandemic

As China slowly returns to normalcy and appears to be on the brink of bringing the coronavirus outbreak under control after months, the country has been hit with another dangerous virus that has already claimed a man's life.

China's Global Times reported earlier today that one of its citizens, a man from the country's Yunnan province, died shortly after testing positive for Hantavirus, which is not air-borne. The deceased was travelling to Shandong Province on a chartered bus when he passed away from the disease. All the 32 passengers in the bus were also tested, the publication added, without details.

What is Hantavirus?

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is defined by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) as "a severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory disease in humans caused by infection with hantaviruses." Although like COVID-19, Hantavirus is a virus that affects one's respiratory system, it is not an airborne virus and has been around for several years but cannot be transmitted from one person to another.

Representational Picture Wikimedia Commons

This virus is usually carried by rodents and humans can become infected with hantavirus through contact with rodent urine, saliva, or faeces. The Hantavirus disease can be contracted if a human touches their face, eyes, mouth or nose after touching rodent droppings, urine or nesting materials.

Hantavirus and coronavirus have a lot of common symptoms including fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea, shortness of breath etc. Additionally, infected Hantavirus individuals might also experience muscle pain, dizziness and chills.

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Wikimedia Commons

China draws criticism over Hantavirus

News of the new virus outbreak has led to an explosion of chatter on social media with people panicking over what they believe will lead to another COVID-19-like pandemic that will spread rampantly across the country and claim countless more lives.

While some started criticising the country for serving as the epicentre for another virus outbreak, others called out its citizens over their eating habits by sharing videos of Chinese nationals eating live rodents, claiming it to be the reason behind the spread of the new virus.

"We are just getting familiar with #Coronavirus and now there's #Hantavirus?!?!," wrote one user. "Chinese people need to stop eating weird shit! At the risk of sounding racist, the world can't suffer because someone in china couldn't resist the urge to eat rodents, bats and pangolins!! WTF?!?!"

"World hasn't even recovered with Covid-19 & Now China is spreading #HantaVirus transmitted by inhaling urine/faeces of infected RODENTS, commented another. "World should BAN on China with immediate effect. FILTH Eating Creeps."

Here are some other posts (Please watch at your own risk as the footage might be disturbing for some viewers):

Related topics : Coronavirus