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Hantavirus: Why you should not panic

By Tatenda Marwodzi

A Chinese man from Yunnan province has allegedly lost his life to hantavirus. It is reported that he passed away on a chartered bus to Shandong province.

He tested positive for the deadly hantavirus, fortunately the other 32 passengers have since tested negative. The news has sent shockwaves across the world with many appealing to have China completely isolated from the rest of the world.

While uproar from around the world that is battling to contain the coronavirus has risen, experts claim there is little reason for individuals to panic. The virus is not new, the first outbreak was recorded in 1993 when a Navajo man experienced shortness of breath. He died immediately after reaching hospital and it was later discovered that his wife had died from the same virus a few days earlier.

The hantavirus is a disease that is primarily spread to humans from rats and mice. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “the disease is not airborne, it can only spread if a person touches their eyes, nose or mouth after coming in contact with the urine, faeces, and saliva of an infected rodent.” While there is no cure or vaccine for the virus, if detected early, a patient can recover through receiving oxygen therapy.

Keeping homes clean and rodent free is the best preventative method. At the moment there should not be any reason to panic as there is no significant statistical evidence that the virus is spreading through China.

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