Other Name: Orthohantavirus
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is an infectious disease characterized by flu-like symptoms that can progress rapidly to potentially life-threatening breathing problems.
Several types of hantaviruses can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. They are carried by several types of rodents, particularly the deer mouse. You become infected primarily by breathing air infected with hantaviruses that are shed in rodent urine and droppings.
Because treatment options are limited, the best protection against hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is to avoid rodents and their habitats.
Hantaviruses normally cause infection in rodents, but do not cause disease in them. Humans may become infected with hantaviruses through contact with rodent urine, saliva, or feces. Some strains cause potentially fatal diseases in humans, such as hantavirus hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), or hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), also known as hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS), while others have not been associated with known human disease. HPS (HCPS) is a “rare respiratory illness associated with the inhalation of aerosolized rodent excreta (urine and feces) contaminated by hantavirus particles.”
Human infections of hantaviruses have almost entirely been linked to human contact with rodent excrement; however, in 2005 and 2019, human-to-human transmission of the Andes virus was reported in South America.
Hantavirus is named for the Hantan River area in South Korea, where an early outbreak was observed, and was isolated in 1976 by Ho Wang Lee.
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome advances through two distinct stages. In the first stage, one may experience flu-like signs and symptoms that may include:
*Fever and chills
*Headaches and muscle aches
*Vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain
In its early stages, hantavirus infection is difficult to distinguish from influenza, pneumonia or other viral conditions. After four to 10 days, more-serious signs and symptoms begin. They typically include:
*A cough that produces secretions
*Shortness of breath
*Fluid accumulating within the lungs
*Low blood pressure
*Reduced heart efficiency
Each type of hantavirus has a preferred rodent carrier. The deer mouse is the primary carrier of the virus responsible for most cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in North America. Other hantavirus carriers include the white-tailed mouse, cotton rat and rice rat.
Inhalation: Main route of transmission
Hantaviruses are transmitted to people primarily through the aerosolization of viruses shed in infected rodents’ droppings, urine or saliva. Aerosolization occurs when a virus is kicked up into the air, making it easy for you to inhale. For example, a broom used to clean up mouse droppings in an attic may nudge into the air tiny particles of feces containing hantaviruses, which you can then easily inhale.
After you inhale hantaviruses, they reach your lungs and begin to invade tiny blood vessels called capillaries, eventually causing them to leak. Your lungs then flood with fluid, which can trigger any of the respiratory problems associated with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.
People who become infected with the North American strain of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome aren’t contagious to other people. However, certain outbreaks in South America have shown evidence of being transmitted from person to person, which illustrates variation across strains in different regions.
Hantaviruses are transmitted by rodents, humans become infected by inhaling aerosols of excreta and urine.
Hantaviruses cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in Europe and Asia and with cardiopulmonary syndrome in the Americas.
The clinical course of HPS can be basically divided into three periods: a febrile prodrome, a cardiopulmonary stage and the convalescence. There is 14–17 days incubation period after exposure, which is followed by the prodrome phase, which usually lasts for 3–6 days with myalgia,
malaise and fever of abrupt onset in the absence of cough and coryza. Additional symptoms seen at early stages could include mainly gastrointestinal manifestations, headache and chills.
Laboratory abnormalities include increased hematocrit, thrombocytopenia with neutrophilia and relative lymphopenia. The first to appear is thrombocytopenia, which can anticipate the respiratory failure of 1 or 2 days. Leukocytosis is later and more specific for progression to severe cases. There are changes in blood chemistry, increased lactate dehydrogenase and transaminases.
Detection of antigens or virus RNA is essential for early diagnosis in patients with hantavirus. Hantaviruses N-protein is the most abundant and conserved structural protein in infected cells and virions and it is the target commonly selected for the detection of IgG or IgM antibodies. Therefore, hantaviruses N-protein is more suitable for the development of monoclonal antibodies in acute or convalescent patients.
Detection of RNA viral by RT-PCR is required to confirm clinical or post-mortem cases.
Viral isolation is difficult and requires biosafety 3 and 4 laboratories (BSL-3/4).
The differential diagnosis of this syndrome in tropical countries include several atypical pneumonia, influenza, heart failure, malaria, dengue, arenavirus, leptospirosis and rikettsia.
Viruses in the genus Hantavirus can cause one of two serious illnesses when transmitted from rodents to humans: hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) or hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Of the two diseases, HPS is more severe with an approximate 40% mortality across the Americas. The high rate of mortality could be reduced if effective therapeutics could be discovered for treatment of this illness. Herein we review approaches being explored for the discovery of therapeutics for HPS and how they could be employed in treatment and prevention of disease.
Because people don’t have antibodies to the virus, symptomatic infections are the norm, with mortality rates of 38%, according to the CDC. There is no treatment, cure, or vaccine for the virus. However, survival outcomes may be improved by early disease recognition and receipt of medical care, including oxygen therapy for severe respiratory illness.
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) can be be prevented by doing the following:
*Stay away from places where rodents leave droppings.
*Wear rubber gloves and a mask that covers your nose and face during exposure to mouse droppings.
*Use disinfectant to sanitize areas containing mouse droppings so infected dust does not spread in the air.
- Do Yoga exercise, specially PRANAYAMA daily which will boost up your immunity system.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.