Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a severe respiratory condition among humans but considered uncommon. Rodents are reported to carry hantavirus and those who come in contact are at risk for developing the condition. It is important to note that hantavirus can affect even healthy individuals at any time if exposed to rodents. Even though the disease is uncommon, it can be deadly if not promptly treated.
Indications of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
Generally, the indications of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome manifest after 2-3 weeks. The initial symptoms might include the following:
- Fever, chills, headache and muscle aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue without any evident cause
- Minor to intense abdominal pain
The symptoms might start to manifest after 2-3 weeks and after these symptoms but other serious issues occur such as:
- Rapid breathing
- Dyspnea that leads to respiratory failure
- Increased heart rate
- Shortness of breath along with coughing
How does it spread?
In most instances, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is triggered by only one form of hantavirus. Some of the usual ways in which it spreads include:
- Direct contact with the urine, saliva and excrement of rodents
- Spread of urine as aerial particles that can enter the lungs once inhaled
- Dust contaminated by the hantavirus
- Being bit by rodents infected by the virus
There is no specific treatment in managing hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. If the disease is diagnosed at an early phase, it can prevent the development of the deadly symptoms.
Hospitalization is required at the late phases in which the individual is treated under intensive care with mechanical ventilation. Remember that the earlier treatment is started, the better the outcome. Oxygen therapy is also administered to alleviate pulmonary distress.