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Hantavirus kills man in China, 32 co-passengers in bus being tested

A person from south China’s Yunnan province died of hantavirus infection, or the hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) while on his way to eastern China’s Shandong province, the tabloid Global Times reported in a tweet on Monday.

“He was tested positive for hantavirus. Other 32 people on the bus were tested,” the GT tweet said without elaborating.

The disease symptoms are headache, dizziness, chills fever, muscle pain, and stomach problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, followed by sudden onset of respiratory distress and low blood pressure.

“The infection (in humans) is acquired primarily through inhalation of aerosols or contact with infected rodent excreta, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents,” the WHO said in a report on the spread of the disease in Argentina in 2018.

“Cases of human hantavirus infection usually occur in rural areas (e.g. forests, fields, and farms) where sylvatic rodents hosting the virus might be found and where persons may be exposed to the virus,” the WHO report said.

According to the United States’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, hantaviruses are a family of viruses spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied disease syndromes in people worldwide.

“The risk of getting infected with a hantavirus in Canada or in other parts of the world is low,” a spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada said.

The best way to stop the spread of hantaviruses is to prevent rodent infestations and to thoroughly clean areas where rodent droppings are found.

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