Whatever is happening around us is very unfortunate and unpredictable. We all are horrified with devastating Amazon forest fires to the outbreak of different deadly diseases. The world is fighting with corona virus and the fear of this pandemic is significantly affecting people not just physically and mentally but also economically. This newly emerged threat, Corona virus causes a disease, known as Corona virus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has killed around 18000 people around the globe. The origin of this deadly virus is traced from the Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. After the outbreak of Corona virus, it was declared the Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 31 January 2019 and pandemic on 11 March 2020 by The World Health Organization (WHO).
As the covid-19 disease was declared as pandemic and is causing threats to mankind all over the world, another virus from china, known as Hanta virus is amplifying the already present panic by corona virus. Although, Hanta virus is not a new virus relatively and was first isolated in 1976 in South Korea and belongs to Bunyaviridae family of Arbovirus that spread through rodents (rats /mice). It causes a Hantavirus disease that mainly effect the pulmonary region and kidneys of human body. Furthermore, two different strains of Hanta virus are present such as hantavirus haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) causing haemorrhagic fever with kidney problems and the other one is hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) causing respiratory issues.
Recently a man in China, who was diagnosed with Hantavirus died creating fear amongst people. Transmission of hantavirus happens when we come in contact or inhale contaminated air with virus which is carried in dried excreta of rodents. However, the rodents do not get infection by the Hantavirus as they are the carriers. According to US report, transmission of hantavirus is very rare from human to human only until a person touches his/her face, nose or eyes after coming in contact with the urine of a rodent. Even though, according to the centers for disease control and prevention (CDC), there are some cases of transmission from human to human when we come in contact with the infected person.
A look at the deeper differences and similarities between the two viruses that have taken over the world. The symptoms of these are quite similar which are as follows:
|Hanta virus||Corona virus|
|Fever, Body aches, sore throat, headache, dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea||Cold, fever, dry cough, non-running nose|
But the later symptoms of both these diseases are fatal such as shortness of breath. Although, there is no cure or vaccine yet for the diseases caused by both of these viruses.
Guidelines from WHO to prevent the spread of coronavirus include regular washing of hands, maintain social distance, avoid touching eyes/nose/mouth and practice respiratory hygiene. If suffering from fever and cough and have difficulty in breathing, seek medical care as early as possible. And most importantly, stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider. As per the guideline of CDC, the infection of Hantavirus can be avoided by minimise the close contact with the rodents.
Stay home! Stay healthy!
Riyaz, PhD Scholar, Department of Plant Biology
Postdoctoral Researcher,Hungarian Academy of Sciences.Hungary
Rubina Khan,M.B.B.S student
Govt medical college Azamgarh