Hantavirus is a respiratory disease that’s spread through infected rodents. Individuals typically contract the disease by coming into contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva. These can become airborne when disturbed by cleaning or other activities. Though the infected are occasionally aware of having contact with rodents or rodent secretion, many encounter these hazardous particles unknowingly. You can contract the hantavirus anywhere, but it’s much more likely in certain areas.

Where Do Hantavirus Outbreaks Occur?

U.S. hantavirus outbreak map

Notably, 96 percent of hantavirus cases are reported in states west of the Mississippi River. California, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico have the highest number of reported cases. New Mexico and Colorado have each had more than 100 cases of hantavirus. Washington state has seen 50 cases of the hantavirus, while Montana and Texas each report more than 40 instances of the disease.

Hantavirus can likewise be sent by wild or tamed rodents

Hantavirus can also be transmitted by wild or domesticated rats

A group of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have confirmed Germany’s first-ever case of animal-to-human transmission involving a specific species of virus known as the ‘Seoul virus’. Working alongside colleagues from Friedrich-Loeffer-Institut (FLI), the researchers were able to confirm the presence of the virus in a young female patient and her pet rat. Their findings, which have been published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, may influence the way in which we deal with both wild and domesticated rats.

Following multiple outbreaks earlier in the 21st century, hantavirus disease syndromes have gained increasing levels of public attention and were made notifiable in Germany in 2001. The Puumala and Dobrava-Belgrade viruses, for instance, which are common across central Europe and can be spread by numerous types of mice, usually cause acute fever.

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Rodents are fit for sending hantavirus

Rodents are fit for sending hantavirus

A group of researchers from Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin have confirmed Germany’s first-ever case of animal-to-human transmission involving a specific species of virus known as the ‘Seoul virus’.

Working alongside colleagues from Friedrich-Loeffer-Institut (FLI), the researchers were able to confirm the presence of the virus in a young female patient and her pet rat. Their findings, which have been published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, may influence the way in which we deal with both wild and domesticated rats.

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Colorado lady thought she had COVID-19, yet it was something much more dreadful

Colorado lady thought she had COVID-19, yet it was something much more dreadful
  • A hiker in Colorado came down with a severe illness that was initially thought to be COVID-19, but turned out much worse.
  • Sue Ryan thought she had COVID, but actually had an infection of hantavirus, which is often deadly.
  • Doctors moved swiftly to save her life after realizing what she really had.

When there’s a global pandemic raging and you come down with some vague symptoms that seem to match the illness that has gripped the planet, it’s easy to assume you finally came down with it. That’s what Sue Ryan of Bailey, Colorado, believed when she began experiencing a fever and headache after going on a hiking excursion. Upon being tested by doctors she got good news and terrible news.

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Lady Sick With COVID-Like Symptoms, Diagnosed With Hantavirus

In October, hiker Sue Ryan from Colorado made several visits to the hospital after experience coronavirus-like symptoms. It turns out she had the rare hantavirus.

Sue’s symptoms included high fever and headache while her lungs and heart filled up with fluid. After hiking and camping on the Colorado Trail, she got sick and initially took a coronavirus test, which had negative results.

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A Colorado Woman Thought She Had COVID, yet It Was Actually Hantavirus—Here’s How the Symptoms Are Similar

Anyone would be relieved to test negative for COVID-19. But in Sue Ryan’s case, she turned out to have something far more serious. Shortly after hiking and camping along the Colorado Trail in her home state, Ryan started experiencing symptoms that made her think she might have the coronavirus.

Ryan told local TV station KDVR Fox 31 Denver that she had headaches, a high fever, and difficulty breathing—all telltale symptoms of COVID. However, when she took a coronavirus test, it came back negative. Then her symptoms got worse, so she went back to the hospital for another COVID-19 test, which also was negative. After additional testing, doctors diagnosed Ryan with hantavirus.

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SC makes team to address rodents in Kiawah Island

CLEMSON, S.C. (WCIV) — The state’s Department of Pesticide Regulation announced it created the South Carolina SGA Rodenticide Task Force in order to “balance the scales between the tenuous hold of wildlife along South Carolina’s fast-developing coast and the human health concerns of the deadly diseases — like plague, hantavirus or rat-bite fever — that rodents spread.”

The task force, comprised of he Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Clemson University science researchers, local officials and the pest control industry, is in charge of researching and coming up with ways to address Kiawah Island’s rodent populations as well as the loss of several of the island’s famed bobcats, whom officials say have shown traces of rat poison in their systems.

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Climber with indications like COVID-19 determined to have uncommon infection

Hiker with symptoms similar to COVID-19 diagnosed with rare disease

BAILEY, Colo. (KDVR) — Sue Ryan, of Bailey, feels lucky to be alive after several visits to the hospital in October. Ryan had several symptoms that overlap with COVID-19, but was eventually diagnosed with hantavirus — an extremely rare and often fatal disease.

“I had a high fever, headaches,” Ryan said.

Ryan said her symptoms began a few days after a hiking and camping trip on the Colorado Trail.  She took a COVID-19 test, which came back negative as her symptoms worsened.

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Amazon deforestation may spark new pandemic

SAO PAULO, Oct 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As farms expand into the Amazon rainforest, felled trees and expanding pastures may open the way for new Brazilian exports beyond beef and soybeans, researchers say: pandemic diseases.

Changes in the Amazon are driving displaced species of animals, from bats to monkeys to mosquitoes, into new areas, while opening the region to arrivals of more savanna-adapted species, including rodents.

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How Many Hantavirus Cases Occur in the United States?

National surveillance for the hantavirus began in 1993. According to the CDC, between 1993 and January 2017, 697 cases of hantavirus were identified in the United States. Once national reporting began on the disease, an additional 31 cases were retrospectively identified, having occurred before 1993.

Who is Impacted by the Hantavirus?

Anyone can contract the hantavirus. It’s impacted patients between the ages of five and 84. The mean age of patients in the United States is 38. Of those who have contracted the hantavirus, 63 percent were male and 37 percent were female.

What Major Outbreaks Have Occurred in the United States?

The hantavirus first gained national attention in the United States in 1993, with an outbreak in the Four Corners region. This area around Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah saw 13 deaths during the outbreak, exhibiting a mortality rate of 50 percent. Among them were a 19-year-old marathon runner and his young fiancé. The couple’s deaths underscored how hazardous the disease is, even to otherwise healthy individuals. The outbreak occurred as the result of a surge in the deer mice population in the area.

In years since, Arizona has remained a major site of Hantavirus cases. Since 1993, over 700 cases of Hantavirus have been confirmed in the United States. Of these, 78 were found in Arizona. Arizona has the third-highest incidence of Hantavirus cases in the United States. After the Four Corners outbreak, it was found that about 30 percent of deer mice in the area carried the virus. Mice that have the virus do not appear sick, so residents must always be vigilant about protecting themselves from the disease.

Where Does Hantavirus Occur Worldwide?

Globally, hantavirus outbreaks are most common in Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador, Panama, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Outbreaks are often caused by land-use change which can stir up rodent feces. Environmental factors like an increase in rainfall or the flowering of bamboo have also been linked to outbreaks.

If you’re concerned about a hantavirus outbreak, the most important factor to consider is exposure to rodents that may carry the disease. If there is a known increase the rodent population in an area, it’s especially important to be aware of this disease.