Hanta Virus – Panama
A 38-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital after having two days with respiratory symptoms. She remained stable as of the date of this publication, 2-28-2022. A separate case of hantavirus in the community of El Jazmin corregimiento of El Pajaro, district of Pese resulted in the death of a 58-year-old woman.
The Ministry of Health calls for the community to maintain cleanliness in their homes and to eliminate elements that may attract rodents to avoid more infections and deaths due to the disease.Exposure to Hantaviruses can cause a rare but often fatal disease called Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) or a hemorrhagic fever, which can progress rapidly into serious complications.
Humans are most often exposed by breathing in air particles contaminated by deer mouse saliva, urine, or feces containing infectious Hantaviruses.
Caution must be used when opening cabins, sheds or garages after a period of time. Floor surfaces may be contaminated and are best disinfected with a 10% bleach solution to avoid raising contaminated dust.
The natural reservoir of Hantavirus is rodents, although infected with the virus it does not cause disease in them. Humans may become infected with Hantaviruses through contact with rodent urine, saliva, or feces. Some strains cause potentially fatal diseases in humans, such as Hantavirus hemorrhagic fever or Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Human infections of Hantaviruses have almost entirely been linked to human contact with rodent excrement; however, in 2005 and 2019, human-to-human transmission of the Andes virus was reported in South America. Hantavirus infections have been reported from all continents except Australia.
Hantavirus is named for the Hantan River area in South Korea where an early outbreak was observed.
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