With too much time on your hands, it’s important to use it productively and not spread rumors and myths, creating unnecessary panic. The reason for this post is to educate people on news currently circulating on social media. The news says ‘‘Man who died on a bus in China tested positive for ‘Hantavirus’. ’’

What Is Hantavirus?

Hantaviruses are enveloped RNA viruses transmitted from various rodent hosts by inhalation of infected urine, saliva or feces. Infection in rodent hosts is subclinical but persists for life. However, the person-to-person spread of hantavirus has not been described.

Is It A New Virus?

It is not a new virus. The first outbreak of Hantavirus occurred during the Korean War (1950 to 1953),  and the second outbreak of the disease occurred in the southwestern United States in 1993. At present, over 21 hantaviruses that cause illness in humans when transmitted from their rodent reservoirs to humans have been identified across the world.

What Are The Symptoms?

Two main presentations of the disease occur i.e Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. ‘Hantavirus’ infection also shows symptoms similar to COVID-19 such as fever, lung congestion, fluid accumulation in the lungs, and shortness of breath etc.

How To Prevent The Infection?

Avoiding virus-contaminated areas such as rodent infestation, rodent saliva, rodent urine, faeces or dust, dirt and surfaces contaminated with such rodent excretions.

You should not panic.

Scientists have been working on this virus for long and they know what it is. They have developed ways to detect the virus and the doctors know how to treat the symptoms. Unless you have direct contact with rodents, ‘Hantavirus’ will not spread like COVID-19.

Humanity is facing one of the greatest challenges in history because we have neglected the fundamental needs and focused on making weapons instead of vaccines or cures for diseases. However, let’s focus on the bright side of the current situation and be vigilant but not create panic.