A man in China who died on Monday reportedly tested positive for Hantavirus, leading officials to test an additional 32 people who traveled on a bus with him before his death, Global Times reported.
What We Know:
- U.S. health officials say this is an already known rat-borne illness and cannot be transmitted from person-to-person. It typically infects patients when they breathe in air contaminated with the virus through rodent droppings and/or urine.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explained that other forms of transmission include a bite from an infected rodent, touching something that has been contaminated, or eating food contaminated by an infected rodent’s droppings, urine, or saliva.
- The victim resided in Yunnan Province and was in transit to Shandong Province for work at the time of his death, according to the news outlet. The man’s identity and occupation has yet to be revealed. There were 32 other passengers on board who have been tested but results have not been released.
- Symptoms of Hantavirus include fatigue, fever, and muscle/headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal pains. Later symptoms may include coughing and shortness of breath which is unfortunately similar to signs of COVID-19. The virus has a 38 percent fatality rate.
- Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome became a “nationally notifiable disease” in the U.S. in 1995 but has been around since the 1950’s. There have been no recorded cases of transmission between people in the country.
Historically, there have been rarer cases in Chile and Argentina where person-to-person transmission has happened with a similar strand named Andes virus. The CDC has said despite research, “there is no specific treatment, cure, or vaccine for hantavirus infection”.