While everyone is busy talking about coronavirus, there is a new virus outbreak coming out of China. The virus is called hantavirus. A man in China reportedly died from hantavirus and over 1,000 cases have now been reported. Hantaviruses are a family of viruses spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied disease syndromes in people worldwide, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unlike coronavirus and seasonal flu with death rates of under 1 percent, the fatality rate for hantavirus is 36 percent.
According to a new report from Chinese state media, a man in China has died after testing positive for the hantavirus, according to Chinese state media. Global Times reported the patient, a migrant worker from southwestern Yunnan Province, died while traveling on a chartered bus to Shandong Province for work on Monday.
According to CDC, there is no approved cure or vaccine against hantaviruses in the United States. An inoculation may be available in China. Infection with any hantavirus can produce hantavirus disease in people. There are more than one strains of hantavirus, some more harmful than others. Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as “New World” hantaviruses and may cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).
Each hantavirus serotype has a specific rodent host species and is spread to people via aerosolized virus that is shed in urine, feces, and saliva, and less frequently by a bite from an infected host. The most important hantavirus in the United States that can cause HPS is the Sin Nombre virus, spread by the deer mouse.
Malaysian Chinese-language newspaper China Press reported Wednesday the patient with the surname Tian was traveling on a bus with 30 migrant workers. It is unclear whether they were also infected. When Tian developed a fever, emergency staff may have suspected a case of the novel coronavirus, according to the report.
Southern Metropolis Daily, a Chinese newspaper published in the city of Guangzhou, said Tian’s home province of Yunnan has reported a total of 1,231 hantavirus cases from 2015 to 2019. China developed a vaccine against the virus 20 years ago, which may have lowered fatalities, according to reports.