Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Hantavirus is a rare, but potentially life-threatening disease that if left untreated can lead to complications and death. Its symptoms resemble that of flu, but they can worsen soon. One can catch it by breathing in the air that is infected with droppings, saliva, or urine of rodents and mice infected with the Hantavirus. The best way to avoid it is to stay away from mice and rodents. Mainly, it harms the heart, lungs, and kidneys of the person. Until now, there is no such cure or preventive measure as a vaccine for Hantavirus. The health care professionals administer oxygen therapy to cope with the condition. The earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. 



What Causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome?


Hantavirus is carried by different types of mice and rodents, hence causing Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in humans. It can be caused by;


  • White-tailed mouse

  • Deer mouse

  • Cotton rat

  • Rice rat


One can catch it by breathing in the air that is infected with droppings, saliva, or urine of rodents and mice infected with the Hantavirus. 


What are the Symptoms of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome?


The symptoms of Hantavirus resemble that of a very bad flu or cold. It may cause symptoms like;


  • Chills

  • Abdominal pain

  • Trouble breathing 

  • Muscle aches

  • Vomiting


The infection can worsen in 4 to 10 days, leading to further complications like;


  • Shortness of breath

  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)- that can lead to shock

  • Fluid in the lungs

  • Cough with secretions

  • Reduced efficiency of the heart


The best way to avoid it is to stay away from mice and rodents. Mainly it harms the heart, lungs, and kidneys of the person.


If you have been around rodents and get any of these symptoms, you should consult with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. 



What are the Risk Factors for Hantavirus?


Mostly it is common in rural areas where there are mice and rodents in abundance. People who play, live around, or work in places where there are mice in the surrounding area are at more risk of catching the virus. Being in close proximity with mice and rodents increases the chances of you getting infected with the Hantavirus. 


People at risk of contracting the Hantavirus are;


  • Those who open buildings that are closed for a long time

  • People who clean the sheds and dirt of closed buildings

  • Having a workplace or house infested with rats, rodents, and mice

  • Doing a job in which you have to get yourself exposed to mice, rats, and rodents like pest control, or construction

  • Going to hunts, camping or hiking often


Complications


Hantavirus can readily become life-threatening. Early diagnosis can help in its treatment. Otherwise, complications may arise. If lungs start to begin with fluid, it becomes difficult for the person to breathe. That can, in turn, lead to shock- a condition in which blood pressure drops due to infection, leading to organ failure like kidney damage. 



Prevention 


To prevent Hantavirus, you need to keep yourself away from mice, rodents, and rats. For that, you can;


Block all the accesses into your house. A little opening can even serve as an entrance for mice. They can squeeze themselves up to 6 millimeters. Therefore you need to make sure that you close all the inlets properly. 


Keep food inside the refrigerator or in covered lids. Do not let the food remain open and unprotected outside as mice may get attracted to it. 


Clear junk, grass, and brushes far away from the building, and wear a mask while doing that. 



If you have to clean the place where rodents have been there, wet down the area with alcohol or any other disinfectant. Then use a towel to clean up. 


Conclusion 


Hantavirus is an infection that causes pulmonary syndrome. It spreads through mice, rats, and rodents. Hantavirus is a rare, but potentially life-threatening disease that, if left untreated, can lead to complications and death. Its symptoms resemble that of flu, but they often worsen soon. 


Doctors For Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

Dr. Shah Nawaz Hassan

General Physician

17 Years

Dr. Jamal Zafar

General Physician

11 Years

Dr. Asif Imran

General Physician

9 Years

Doctors for Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in Different Cities