Hanta Virus – Taiwan
One case of the hantavirus has been reported in Taiwan. This is the first case in Taiwan this year. The patient is believed to have contracted the virus from contact with mice feces at a horse ranch, his workplace.
The patient started exhibiting symptoms of the disease including fever, chills, and muscle pain. The symptoms persisted, so he sought medical assistance, after which he was hospitalized and diagnosed with the virus. The man has been discharged from the hospital and is in stable condition.
Disinfection and an investigation have been carried out at the horse ranch. People are advised to sanitize their living environment and storage facilities with a diluted bleach solution to prevent the spread of the disease.
Photo: Rat – rodents are a natural reservoir of Hantavirus.
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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