The hantavirus is not new, and it does not spread from person to person

However, the CDC says the virus is not new and that cases of person-to-person transmission are extremely rare.

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A mouse looks on at an Argentine laboratory in Buenos Aires, Thursday Jan. 8, 2004. This laboratory develops transegenic mice with modified neurological genes that can be used to study possible treatments for diseases such as Parkinson's and schizophrenia. Several medical research groups in the United States and England have bought the mice, called Th-Cre and used in medical testing. (AP Photo/ Natacha Pisarenko)
A mouse looks on at an Argentine laboratory in Buenos Aires, Thursday Jan. 8, 2004. This laboratory develops transegenic mice with modified neurological genes that can be used to study possible treatments for diseases such as Parkinson's and schizophrenia. Several medical research groups in the United States and England have bought the mice, called Th-Cre and used in medical testing. (AP Photo/ Natacha Pisarenko) ARGENTINA MICE

Even as the coronavirus outbreak takes the world by storm, a number of other diseases are also rearing their ugly heads. Cases of swine flu and bird flu have already been reported in India and other countries. Now, a man from China has tested positive for hantavirus.

China’s Global Times tweeted that the man from Yunnan Province died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a bus on Monday. The 32 other people on the bus were also tested for the virus.

What exactly is the hantavirus?

Lab Mouse
Lab Mouse

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hantaviruses are a family of viruses which are spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied diseases in people.

It can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).

The disease is not airborne and can only spread to people if they come in contact with urine, feces, and saliva of rodents and less frequently by a bite from an infected host.

Symptoms of hantavirus

Lab Mouse
Lab Mouse

Early symptoms of HPS include fatigue, fever, and muscle aches, along with headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems. If left untreated, it can lead to coughing and shortness of breath and can be fatal, with a mortality rate of 38 percent, according to CDC.

While the initial symptoms of HFRS too remain the same, it can cause low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute kidney failure.

HPS can’t be passed on from person to person, while HFRS transmission between people is extremely rare.

As per the CDC, rodent population control is the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infections.

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