Hantavirus: What Is It, Causes, Symptoms & Treatement


Rat for illustration purpose

While the world is still battling with a Chinese virus, called Coronavirus (COVID-19), China Global Times recently tweeted that a man died of another virus that has resurfaced. It is called, Hantavirus.

If you don’t already know what it is, this article will explain to you in simple terms what hantavirus is, causes of hantavirus and symptoms.

What is hantavirus?

Hantavirus belong to a family of viruses that are spread mainly by rodents and can cause conditions such as; Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) and Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS).

Different names for Hantavirus in different regions

Hantavirus in the Americas is called “New World” hantaviruses and my cause HPS. Hantavirus is also known as “Old World” hantaviruses but located mostly in Europe and Asia.

United State Rodents that carry Hantavirus

  1. Cotton Rat (Sigmodon hispidus)
  2. Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)
  3. Rice Rat (Oryzomys palustris)
  4. White-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus)

Deer mouse spreads Sin Nombre virus that is responsible for HPS in humans.

Sin Nombre virus

Sin Nombre Virus particles. SOURCE: CDC/D

How is Hantavirus spread?

It is spread from rodent to human via urine, feces and saliva of rodents and also by a bite from infected rodent.

Can hantavirus be passed from person to person?

No, it can not. It is only spread from rat to human. Which is a good thing, at least.

What are the symptoms of hantavirus?

The symptoms of hantavirus include;

  1. Fatigue
  2. Fever
  3. Muscle ache
  4. Headache
  5. Dizziness
  6. Chills
  7. Abdominal discomfort

If left untreated can result to pulmonary problems, kidney failure and death.

What is incubation period of hantavirus?

The incubation period, according to CDC (Center for Disease Control), is not known but symptoms may develop between 1-8 weeks after exposure to fresh urine, saliva, droppings of infected rats.

Although, there is no information or record of hantavirus infection in Nigeria, please endeavor to maintain optimum personal hygiene. Presently, it is Lassa virus some part of Nigeria are still battling with while the case of Coronavirus is spreading globally.

For more information about hantavirus and disease conditions caused, visit CDC here.

The Author


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  1. May God save us oooooo

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