Chinese social networks panic caused Monday’s death of a man traveling by bus from Yunnan province to Shandong province. His remains were tested for the presence of coronavirus, but doctors have discovered another RNA virus – hantavirus. Experts began to calm panic right in the bud. Infection with this virus is rare and does not spread from person to person.
The man from the bus
Shortly after the authorities reported the man’s death, the news began to spread across social medias. Hantavirus was detected in the body of the man who had died on the bus he traveled to his home province – the authorities had not specified what kind. Tests of thirty-two passengers did not confirm anyone’s hantavirus or coronavirus.
Experts immediately pointed out who the hantaviruses are and there is no need to worry about a new deadly virus and a new epidemic or pandemic.
What is Hantavirus?
Hantavirus was first isolated from a dark rodent mouse in 1976 in South Korea. According to the Hantaan River, where the mouse was caught, the Hantaviruses also bear their name. These viruses are found worldwide, including the Czech Republic. Five species were found in our territory, namely Dobrava, Puumala, Tula, Seewis and Asikkala (the species are named according to the places of discovery).
Almost all species cause very severe disease in humans, attack the lungs and kidneys, and the symptoms are similar to those of SARS-CoV-2. Mortality varies from species to species, the highest being reported for Hantaan virus between 5 and 15 percent.
The main reason we don’t have to worry about an epidemic similar to that of the new coronavirus is because hantaviruses do not transmit from person to person. Hantaviruses are transmitted by animals, mainly small rodents – rats, rats and others. A person can become infected by inhaling the feces of infected rodents or ingesting their body fluids.