Durban woman gives birth to COVID-19 positive baby


What is Hantavirus? Deadly disease sparks concern – but it’s no COVID-19

As the coronavirus rages across the planet, the last thing we need to hear about is another deadly disease. But there’s no need to panic over Hantavirus.

Durban woman gives birth to COVID-19 positive baby


People are really out here, worrying that coronavirus just called for back-up: The deadly strain of COVID-19 has topped 300 000 cases worldwide, with deaths above the 13 000-mark. But recent reports of a fatality caused by the Hantavirus in China may have been taken greatly out of context.

It’s understood a bus passenger died earlier this week, as a direct result of being infected by Hantavirus. Some reports claim 32 other travellers on board were also tested. Of course, the topic soon trended on social media, and had people fearing that yet another pandemic could be on its way.

What is Hantavirus?

That, however, is simply not true. Certainly not at the moment, anyway. Hantavirus is contracted through deer mice, a very specific breed of rodent. They tend to live in rural woodlands, and the disease they can carry is passed via their saliva, urine or even fecal matter.

Here’s the clincher – and something that should help us all sleep a little easier tonight: Hantavirus isn’t a new phenomenon, and dealing with it won’t be as troublesome as the coronavirus outbreak has proved to be. importantly, it cannot be transmitted between humans: So the risk to life is much, much lower.

Symptoms of Hantavirus

Although it possesses some similarities to COVID-19, Hantavirus isn’t necessarily going to wreak as much havoic:

  • Symptoms of HV include chills, fever and aching muscles. Dry coughs, headaches and nausea also occur.
  • Your chances of contracting this disease are incredibly low, with conservative estimates saying it’s one in 13 million.
  • House mice, black rats and brown rats don’t carry Hantavirus – only deer mice are known to do so.

South Africans ‘unlikely to be at risk’

Although quite rare in South Africa, extermination experts Rentokil have outlined the threat this illness can pose. But don’t get too stressed – it may be a killer, but Hantavirus doesn’t hold a candle to coronavirus.

“Mouse droppings and urine trails are one of the main causes of rodent-borne diseases. These harmful pathogens could be contracted via touch or sometimes they mix with dust, which if disturbed can be inhaled.”

“A number of different diseases can be contracted from mouse droppings and urine. The hantavirus infects rodents, they become carriers of the disease and infect people via their droppings, saliva and urine. Other common viruses spread by mice are E. Coli, Lyme disease and Murine Typhus.”