Man dies in China from “Hantavirus” and causes panic in social media

Authorities in China reported Tuesday that a man from the southern province of Yunnan died after testing positive for the viral disease known as “hantavirus”.

Man dies in China from "Hantavirus" and causes panic in social media
Man dies in China from “Hantavirus” and causes panic in social media

The news quickly caused massive panic in the networks, and in the areas around Yunnan. Thousands of people began searching for what this virus really is and whether it’s as dangerous as the new covid-19.

This is a man who, while travelling on a bus, fainted and died shortly afterwards.

According to the tests carried out, the authorities verified that the subject was infected by the “Hanta virus”, whose carrier is the country mouse.

There were 32 other people in the vehicle where he was, so they are now under observation. Authorities said there is no risk of an epidemic, since hantavirus is not spread from person to person.

What is Hantavirus?

Hantavirus is nothing new, so panic on the net is unfounded.

Known for decades, hantavirus is considered a rare disease and is generated by a virus that is contracted through contact with surfaces contaminated with rodent saliva, urine or feces, which, when dry, become volatile and combine with dust, so they can be inhaled.

By breathing contaminated air, being bitten or having direct contact with the transmitters of the virus, people develop an acute disease that attacks the lungs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The virus attacks directly the heart of those who are infected and has a death rate of between 36 and 40 percent. The initial symptoms of hantavirus are similar to those of the flu: fever, muscle and headaches, nausea, vomiting, sometimes abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Days later, there may be difficulty breathing, which eventually gets worse. However, the local media called for calm, as this is not a disease that can be transmitted from person to person.

However, the tag #hantavirus became a trend on Twitter, with many users panicking that it was another deadly virus originating in China.

Others, however, started making jokes about it: “China, stop eating everything that moves”, was one of the comments.

“When you’re still panicking about covid-19 and then you get news about the hantavirus. Only God knows what we did,” wrote another.

Some people tried to stop the panic by explaining certain basic concepts about hantavirus to those who fear another outbreak of a dangerous disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 3,000 cases of this virus are reported each year in the Americas, and 60% of its infections can be fatal. The best recommendation is prevention and early diagnosis, since there is no treatment for the disease to date.

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