New virus is spreading in China

In China, a man died of the Hanta virus. Is there a new epidemic?

This news was particularly high on social media: In the Chinese province of Shandong, a man died of the so-called hantavirus. At the same time, several infections were reported in several Chinese provinces. Parallels to the corona virus were immediately established, but what is the real deal with the virus?

Hantaviruses are not new and have already appeared in Austria. They are named after the Hantaan River, where more than 3,000 soldiers fell seriously ill during the Korean War. The transmission takes place through rodents, contagion can take place through bites, direct contact with rodents or their excretions as well as through the inhalation of dust mixed with the excretions. In contrast to the corona virus, transmission from person to person has so far been observed extremely rarely.

Also known in Austria

Infection usually goes unnoticed and is very mild. However, there can also be a high fever and headache, abdominal pain and muscle pain. In the worst case, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) occurs, which can lead to renal dysfunction or acute kidney failure. With HFRS, one to 15 percent of cases are fatal.

Hantaviruses occur again and again worldwide, and thus also in Europe and Austria. We accumulated in 2007, 2012 and 2014, with a peak of 264 cases eight years ago. However, deaths are not known in Austria.

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