What Are the Symptoms of Hantavirus and How Is It Treated?

Symptoms Hantavirus

Hantavirus is a virus that is spread by rodents, such as mice and rats. It is a rare, but serious illness that can cause severe respiratory problems. Symptoms of hantavirus may include fever, muscle aches, fatigue and headaches. In serious cases, hantavirus can cause a severe lung infection called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of hantavirus can appear within 1 to 5 weeks after exposure to the virus.

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The early symptoms of hantavirus are similar to those of many other viral illnesses, such as the flu. These symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Chills

As the disease progresses, more serious symptoms may develop. These symptoms can include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

HPS can be fatal if left untreated. Approximately one-third to one-half of the people with hantavirus die from the infection.

Treatment

Treatment for hantavirus is supportive care and may include intravenous fluids, oxygen, and medications to reduce fever or discomfort.

Prevention

The best way to prevent hantavirus is to take measures to prevent rodent infestations, such as sealing cracks and crevices and eliminating sources of food and water. It’s also important to use caution when cleaning up areas where rodents are present, as the virus can be spread through contact with rat droppings or urine.

Wearing protective clothing, such as gloves, a mask, and long pants, is also recommended. Finally, it is important to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands with soap and water after coming into contact with rodents or their nesting materials.

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