Introduction

Hantavirus Infection is also known as the Nephropathis Hemorrhagic fever, Epidemic Hemorrhagic fever and Korean Hemorrhagic fever. This is an infection caused by unhygienic conditions. It symptoms are called as Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). This is an RNA virus of Bunyaviridae family which is mostly transmitted by rodents, mice or rats to humans by the medium of their urine and excretes. The only way to prevent this disease is to control over the rodents in food stock and our living areas to avoid from its infestations. The rodents or mice are not at all affected by this virus and when transmitted to human beings these are really fatal if not treated on time. The HSP may develop in humans with signs of myalgia, fever, headache, lethargy and cough in human beings. This is a curable infection if treated in the initial stages. The HSP is commonly found in Korea, Africa, USA and Asia.

Spread and Symptoms

The spread of Hantavirus infection usually happens within our own backyards. Our home is the primary place for these rodents to shelter. When we come into contact with its urine and excretes, it is enough to infect us. It is majorly spread through food stock storage houses, where these rodents are frequently hiding and gnawing on the stored food stocks. The same phenomenon happens in our homes and work places. When a person gets infected from this virus, the symptoms can develop by 1-5 weeks of time. The early signs and symptoms are nausea, breathing troubles, diarrhea, abdominal problems, vomiting body ache along with flu like fever. All of these symptoms are accompanied by a later symptom in which lungs accumulate fluids and cause shortness in breathing. These signs and symptoms when noticed, must immediately consult with a physician nearby your place. The later stage treatment, if ignored, may lead to fatal death in humans.

Prevention and Cure

Hantavirus infection can be prevented by cleaning all contaminated areas were the rodents may hideout usually in your homes, garages and work places. Kindly make sure to close, fill and cover all possible holes and gaps of your home, so that these rodents may not enter in your home further. The winter season is the time when rodents mostly enter into a house for shelter and protection from cold weather. Do not use killer traps or spray killer chemicals on rodents as this may increase the chances of spreading the virus through the fluids of diseased rodents and their rotten smells by air. Clean your food stock rooms and keep your food in bottles and metal containers so that rodents cannot enter in. While cleaning, use protective plastic or rubber gloves; also wash your hands and gloves with proper cleansers so that the germs are killed. There is only a preventive cure available to treat HPS. The supportive treatments are available with the oxygen therapy, since the lungs are affected mostly and the cases have breathing trouble. The other antiviral drugs used here are the penicillin.

Research and Development

So far there is no effective vaccine developed to prevent Hantavirus infection. There are many vaccines developed by virologists, which are tested on animals and found effective. But, the FDA and the WHO has not permitted to test on human beings for the presence of various harmful chemical found in it, which may worsen future health of a patient. These vaccines are not allowed to be used in the USA so far. Many countries including the American and the European are still conducting pre clinical tests only. Many scientists are in developmental stage to find an effective vaccine without any side effects to humans. Presently there are many researchers and virologists are engaged in a vast study in the field of etiology ecological research, epidemiology. They are also studying climatic factors and zoonoses research on Hantavirus Infection.

History of Hantavirus

In the medieval period of Europe such infections were reported since 1485 AD but there is no proper record to confirm it as the HPS infection and only few symptoms were found similar to HPS. Hantavirus Infection was first recorded in the Korean War of 1950s. Here more than 3000 soldiers were found infected with the HPS symptoms and a 10% of the cases were fatal. The name of this virus is also got from its origin place, since it was out broke near the Hantan River found in South Korea. In 1970s two virologists named Johnson M Karl and Ho-Wang Lee isolated this virus from South Korea to a beneficial extent after two decades of contact of the HSP in this country. In North America there were many cases of HPS infections found, these came to light in 1993 only after a clinical laboratory reported the presence of this strain in many samples of blood test conducted during those times. The south western parts of USA also saw similar HPS outbreaks in the same year. In 1996 an HPS outbreak was seen in South Argentina, but the cases reported were less and not found in fatal stage. The overall mortality rate as per WHO announcement is 38% so far in the 21st century.

Conclusion

Hantavirus Infection HPS is not a contagious disease if found in human beings or domesticated pet animals. The important fact is that the rodents or mice are not at all infected by this virus. This only infects human being when contacted with their infestations. This is a common disease in the winter season of any parts of the world since these rodents or mice usually enter our living areas for food and shelter from the cold conduction of winter. The HSP infected persons are able to recover completely from this viral disease. This is not a chronic infection so far and does not have a continuous effect till later years on the infected person. The HPS is a curable disease when diagnosed in earlier stages. Hence if such symptoms are found please check with a doctor immediately for a better recovery. The HPS infections are mostly found in the tropical zones of the world.