Hantavirus – More Viral Fear from China


While the world still fights the pandemic Novel Coronavirus, people were thrown in a state of panic after hearing about a Chinese person dying of Hantavirus.
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Crux of the Matter

Another Virus Scare from China
Hantavirus is not a new virus. However, the medication available for this virus is limited today. A man from Yunnan province in China died of the virus while traveling to Shandong province, stated Global-Times. The other 32 on-board passengers are also being tested for the virus. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hantavirus found in America is known as “New World” Hantavirus. “New World” Hantavirus may cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). But another type of Hantavirus found in Asia and Europe, known as “Old World” Hantavirus, may cause Haemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS).

History of Hantavirus
Hantavirus is named after the river Hanta in South Korea. As the virus spread for the first time through an infected rodent in the small field near river Hanta, it is named Hantavirus. During the Korean War, 3000 soldiers were tested positive with Hantavirus and fell victims of hemorrhagic fever, of whom 10% died.

Corona v/s Hanta
The virus spreads only by the host rodents, which makes it significantly less infectious than Novel Coronavirus. People get infected with Hantavirus when they breathe the virus stirred up in the air from rodents’ urine, droppings and nesting material. Symptoms of Hantavirus are dizziness, fever, headaches, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is hard to find symptoms of Hantavirus in the initial stages and can be mistaken for influenza.


How do Viruses Spread?
A virus particle or a virion consists of nucleic acid, coat of protein and lipid membrane. Unlike human cells or bacteria, viruses don’t contain the enzymes needed to carry out the chemical reactions for life. Instead, they carry only one or two enzymes that decode their genetic instructions. So, a virus must have a host cell (bacteria, plant or animal) in order to live and make more viruses.

Once they enter the desired host cell available in its nearest vicinity, they follow the lytic cycle to invade its chemical machinery. As they start attacking cells in a human body, the immune system responds to the infection, and in the process of fighting, it produces chemicals called pyrogens that cause your body temperature to increase. This fever helps you to fight the infection by slowing down the rate of viral reproduction. Generally, the body’s chemical reactions have an optimal temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius). More Info