Posted on

Bitten By A Mouse, Feel Like A Zombie And Running A Fever – Wat Do?

And you SHOULD!

Diseases from wild rodents

Hantavirus
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a severe illness caused from exposure to the droppings or urine of deer mice that carry the virus. About 1- 5 hantavirus cases are reported each year in Washington State and about one third of the cases have been fatal. It is important to take precautions when cleaning up an enclosed space such as a shed, cabin or trailer where mice have nested or rodent droppings are present.
Diseases from rodents, pocket pets and rabbits to humans ( OP )

Leptospirosis
Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria called Leptospira that infects both humans and a wide range of animals. It occurs worldwide but is more common in temperate and tropical areas of the world. Some people infected with leptospirosis will have no symptoms at all, and some people will become severely ill. Some wild and domestic animals, such as cattle, pigs, dogs, raccoons, and rodents, carry the Leptospira bacteria and pass them in their urine. Soil or water contaminated with infected urine are the most common causes of human infection.

Plague
Plague is a serious infection of humans caused by a germ called Yersinia pestis. It is usually caused by the bite of a flea that has fed on an infected wild animal, such as a rat, chipmunk or prairie dog. It usually causes large sores and abscesses in the glands of the arms and legs. Dogs, and especially cats, can also become infected and can spread the disease to their human companions. Wild animals in Washington state do not carry plague germs, but people and domestic animals like dogs and cats could be bitten by infected fleas while traveling to other areas of the country. Plague is treatable with antibiotics.

Tularemia
Tularemia is a bacterial disease caused by Francisella tularensis and is most commonly found in wild animals (e.g., wild rodents, squirrels, rabbits, hares and beavers). People and their pets can become ill from tularemia by coming into contact with infected dead or ill animals through animal bites and exposure to contaminated blood or raw meat. Tularemia can also be transmitted by the bite of an infected arthropod (e.g. ticks, biting flies), exposure to contaminated water or soil, and inhalation of bacteria. One to 10 cases of tularemia in people are reported every year. To prevent exposures to tularemia, don’t handle dead or ill animals; avoid animal bites, tick and deer fly bites; and avoid direct bare-hand contact with blood and raw meat from wild animals. Don’t drink untreated water in areas where tularemia is known to occur in wild animals.

Posted on

Readers Respond: Is Online Privacy Important?

Readers respond: Is online privacy irrelevant? September 25, 2001, 12:20 p.m. PT CNET News.com’s Mike Yamamoto says that when it comes to real life, he’s willing to make small concessions of civil liberty. Would you? News.com readers sound off on what they think about online privacy.

Home of the brave, not land of the watched
I have to say I wholeheartedly disagree with Yamamoto’s take on giving up some of our civil liberties in the name of security. Most of the “precautions” that have been proposed by our attorney general will do little to stop a terrorist threat from becoming reality. Our civil liberties and freedom make us Americans. Why should we give up the freedoms that make us different from the rest of the world?

Just because the rest of the world has given up freedoms (such as your random frisking incident in the airport), does that mean we should too? Where does it end once we start down this treacherous slope?

Do you not believe that law enforcement agencies will abuse new power given to them? Maybe not at first, but over time they will abuse them when loopholes are found or the language of the original law is broadened. These transgressions don’t all happen at once. They happen over time, and before you are aware it’s happening, you’ve already become accustomed to the loss of certain freedoms you used to enjoy. We as a country cannot take this chance.

The purpose of these attacks is to make us fearful people. It was made to turn us against each other, to not trust our neighbors. They want us to live in fear. They want us to give up that which makes us Americans. I, for one, will not stand for this, because if we do, then we have lost what makes us a unique people and country.

I can’t say that I know what we need in this country to fight the threat of terrorism on our soil, but I do know that sacrificing my freedoms is not one of the ways I’m willing to fight it. If people want to live under the scrutiny of constant surveillance and government infiltration into their lives, then they can move to Europe or one of the countries that make this their practice.

Remember, America is the land of the free and the home of the brave, not the land of the watched and the home of the fearful.

Mike Bosch
San Francisco

Safety is important; so is liberty
I agree that Americans have been spoiled by their unparalleled sense of security in the past 100 years or so, that companies providing services must tighten security, and that that tightening can include apparent intrusions into our privacy.

However, I believe that you failed to make a distinction between safety practices of service providers, like airlines and our loss of civil liberties to the government. When a company institutes a more restrictive or intrusive policy, customers can choose to go to a competitor, not use the service at all, or even go to the courts for a remedy.

The most effective way to change corporate policy is, of course, through market forces. (Don’t like the airlines policies–don’t fly commercial.) However, the U.S. government has a terrible history of incrementally taking citizens’ rights and replacing them with safety or social programs. The framers of the Constitution understood that government by its nature will grow, amassing more power, more control over our lives, and an increasing percentage of GNP.

I think it’s important to differentiate between a private company instituting safety policies and the government reading all of our correspondence, listening to phone conversations, bugging our homes, or any other extrapolation of e-mail tapping. For this reason, the framers of the Constitution included that any rights not expressly given to the government are reserved for the states or the people.

Safety is important, but so is liberty. I think we can have both.

George Harter
Raleigh, N.C.

Don’t dismiss Fourth Amendment as “theory”
Orwellian fears stem from the idea that the government will, at some point, use the power it has amassed over the years to ultimately subjugate its own citizenry. The idea is that if we stop the small steps now, we don’t have to be trampled by the large steps later. Yamamoto states that today’s discussions regarding online privacy are irrelevant to “real life.” Perhaps he is simply being shortsighted.

With e-mail supplanting the U.S. Postal Service, the Web becoming a global retailer ready to serve the remotest of locations, and cell phones replacing the landlines we have all grown up with, it seems to be that online privacy is becoming “real life.”

So let’s assume that we give the government full permission to read our e-mail. Since this will undoubtedly become the main form of letter-based communication, should we not, then, also extend this intrusion into “real life” and allow the government to scan and store every piece of physical mail we send?

Should the government build backdoors into every implementation of SSL so that it can monitor all purchases made online, looking for any items that might be used in a terrorist act? Woe unto anyone starting a shipping business that needs a crate of box cutters.

When talking about online privacy, it is important to take into account the far-reaching effects that the shortsighted, impassioned, reactionary legislation of today can have on the society of tomorrow. We may all live long and productive lives, but you have to ask yourself, “Is a long life more important than a private life?”

It would have been helpful if Yamamoto had addressed “how far is too far” in his article. The reference to “theoretical arguments about the Fourth Amendment” implies that the government can never go too far in providing a sense of security. Mind you, a “sense” of security. Threats exist both within and without this nation. Far more people die from smoking, drinking and auto accidents every year than perished in the Sept. 11 tragedy. And some freedoms were restricted to address those issues; many areas restrict smoking, there is a minimum drinking age, and a number of states have mandated seatbelt and vehicle inspection laws.

But none of those reach as far into expression as the possibility of having your e-mail monitored. When your thoughts are fodder for a keyword-driven search engine, you start to change your thoughts to avoid being picked out for investigation. Law enforcement and national security should be limited to dealing with the actions of people, not their thoughts.

If Yamamoto wants to rid the world of evil, I suggest he look to the sources for difference and strife that cause insurrections instead of looking to advocate that governments read the thoughts of their citizenry by perusing their mail, electronic or otherwise. Though, admittedly, it’s far easier to fix by restricting societies than to solve by restructuring them.

Travis Prebble
State College, Pa.

Don’t surrender privacy
I would like to take exception with Yamamoto with regard to privacy and American citizenry. There are always those who are willing to surrender things for the perception of security, and I, too, am willing to exchange a thing of lesser value for something greater. Having said that, though, I would oppose any such measure that would give my life, my associations, and my communications freely to the government.

I am a veteran of the Persian Gulf war and served for a total of 13 years in the U.S. Army and the National Guard. I believe strongly in America, and in our Constitution. If one is to be innocent until proven guilty, then how at the same time can you justify claiming that everyone is guilty until the innocence of their communication has been proven?

Let us not forget that the “bad guys” are using secure communications that are difficult if not impossible to read.

The effect of this is to intrude on the citizenry, and all the while the “bad guys” are freely plotting. This is no answer. We have the constitutional obligation to protect American citizens against unreasonable search and seizure. We have the constitutional obligation to protect American citizens from a government that secretly spies on us without warrant or probable cause. This is deeper than “security” and far deeper that “safety.”

Many men and women have given their lives for the very constitutional rights we talk about surrendering. Ironically, the immense powers that were the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, Great Britain and others could not force us to submission, and they most certainly could not force us to suspend the constitution. Yet they have suddenly been surpassed by a ragtag group of zealots who, after the smoke clears, will not see a line in the history books. Interesting.

In conclusion, I would like to say that Ronald Reagan was (and still is) correct in saying that a powerful, professional, and well-paid military is the only key to American security. I watched (as did millions) the Berlin Wall collapse into rubble, and freedom was felt for the first time in those East Germans’ generation. It was exhilarating.

There will never be world peace. There will always be those who seek domination. It is our place to defend against those who would undo freedom, and it is our place to eradicate evil. Anyone who believes that evil can be halted by making sure that free men are restrained believes the same lies that German Nazis believed.

Michael Fischer
Lexington, Ky.

Online privacy debate not irrelevant
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
–Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

I’m sorry, Mike, but I can’t bite my tongue here. You’re advocating curtailing civil liberties based on the arguments that “it’s not so bad” and “other countries have less freedom than us.” Yet you don’t consider the effects of those concessions, the differences between cultures, and the types of freedoms involved, nor even how the proposed measures would improve our safety.

First, you argue that “we already accept some measure of online disclosure.” This doesn’t convince me that a little more wouldn’t hurt. Rather, it’s a warning flag that we’re already slipping down the slope of government control. Regulations such as a national ID card are more than a small, incremental change. Other sorts of disclosure are optional.

For example, there is no mandate that I use Amazon.com (which collects some information about customers); I can choose to take my business to a brick-and-mortar outlet and pay cash. The new proposals must be inescapable to be effective.

The fact that it’s unavoidable is critical. Suppose that I was active in the protests at the WTO meeting and Democratic Convention last year. It’s likely that I’d be branded a “troublemaker.” Then, when I wanted to protest at some other hot spot (say, the farmers put out of business in Klamath Falls), the FBI wouldn’t let me get on a plane–or a train or a bus, either. They say that since I’m a troublemaker, and clearly on my way to a protest, the safety of the community demands that my transportation be denied.

This seems to be the goal of these proposals, but in fact what would happen is that my right to protest would be curtailed.

Second, you introduce Fourth Amendment arguments (protecting against unwarranted searches). But that seems to be a straw man, as you follow up with an incident concerning caning in Singapore. This is surely an interesting point, but the topic of the severity of punishment is wholly unrelated to the question of whether our privacy should be intruded upon. Indeed, the proposals I’ve seen for a “national ID card” are a form of prior restraint–it subjects innocent citizens, suspected of no wrongdoing, to regulation “just in case”–and this sort of thing is generally proscribed.

From everything you’ve written, I get the impression that you feel the Constitution is a stuffy old document written by old timers wearing powdered wigs; it’s worked OK since, so we definitely should consider its content as a strong suggestion for how to legislate, but those old-time farmers couldn’t have foreseen today’s world, so we can’t take their documents so literally.

It seems that you’re of the opinion that America is a democracy, and that the will of the people must prevail. In fact, America is not a democracy, it’s a constitutional republic. A democracy allows the majority to oppress the minority. Our Constitution limits the degree to which that can happen–and the greater the degree of erosion of those controls, the greater the degree to which the minority is oppressed.

This may sound like an abstract warning, but the problems are there already. From murder of scores of innocent people by jackbooted thugs at Waco (where the government’s search warrant was blank, another Fourth Amendment violation) to environmentalists preventing landowners from building a house, this nation is filled with those trying–and succeeding–to eliminate those with differing points of view or lifestyles.

Chris Wuestefeld
Milford, N.J.

Sacrificing privacy is nothing new
I strongly agree that Americans must sacrifice some of their perceived notions of privacy in exchange for greater security, especially since the stakes are so high: It is conceivable that terrorists will bring the Hantavirus, Ebola, smallpox, anthrax or other weapons of mass destruction like suitcase nukes in the future. While these threats might be remote (I am not savvy enough to know how realistic of a threat they are), the results would be so catastrophic that severe preventive measures are called for.

Furthermore, I also strongly believe that people have misinterpreted the Big Brother threat. Big Brother is only a problem when you live under an oppressive government. American citizens will continue to have lawyers, laws, the courts, legislature, free speech, free press, elections, congressional oversight committees, and so on, to safeguard the rights of Americans. As the government will be the ones carrying out the monitoring, this information will not be sold to corporate interests, either.

Sacrificing privacy for safety also has precedent in our society. Virtually all Americans already voluntarily hand over an abundance of private medical information to their primary doctors and medical institutions so that they can be treated for their ailments.

I will be greatly saddened if more people die because of the misguided fears and paranoia of a portion of the American citizenry.

Ted Halmrast
Eden Prairie, Minn.

Hijacked planes vs. cyberprivacy? No contest
I absolutely agree with your editorial about the minuscule price we may pay in privacy as opposed to security. I’ve always believed that those so preoccupied about privacy from government monitoring and the like are those who typically have something to hide. I don’t.

If the CIA, FBI or NSA wanted to waste their time tracking what I do on the Net, fine. Knock yourselves out, I’d say. My only recommendation is that they not waste their time with someone like me. I got nothing to hide.

This also extends to other areas of surveillance. I have no problem whatsoever with video cameras above streets, malls, restaurants, or stadiums or arenas. After all, how are any of the above an invasion of privacy? When you walk into a football stadium with 40,000 other people you are in a very public place. No invasion of privacy there or at a traffic light, either. It’s a public road. I get so tired of all this “invasion of privacy” crap.

My concern is to avoid being on a hijacked plane, or blown up while walking past or inside a government building or any building, or dying from some germ warfare virus, or being nuked. The more security there is, the safer and more free I actually feel. At least now.

What I worry about, however, is that after a few years of heightened security, the government will start getting lazy and complacent again, making us vulnerable to some kind of attack. Maybe we should make the most of our travel now while security is improving instead of going downhill.

Marshal Ray
Bowling Green, Ky.

Posted on

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome Treatment And Prevention

There is no specific treatment for hantavirus infection. However, if the virus is caught early and the patient receives medical care in an intensive care unit (ICU), they will likely improve. Treatment in the ICU is mostly supportive and may include intubation and oxygen therapy, fluid replacement and use of medications to support blood pressure.

Sometimes antiviral drugs, such as ribavirin, are used to treat other strains of hantavirus and associated infections. However, no large trials have proven them to work, but doctors may try in very severe cases.

Recovery can be slow, and patients often complain about weakness, fatigue and impaired exercise tolerance.

The best approach to HPS is preventing it by minimizing exposure to rodents.

  • Seal up (using cement or other patching material) holes or cracks through which rodents may gain entry to your home or work environment. Remember, they can get through openings that are much smaller than you may think.
  • Identify potential nesting sites and carefully clean up debris, clear bushes and trap rodents to remove them. When cleaning up, wear protective gear and be extremely careful not to stir up the virus by sweeping waste and debris. Instead, wet down dead rodents and areas where rodents have been with alcohol, household disinfectants or bleach before using a towel to remove the debris. Then mop the area with disinfectant.
  • Open and aerate any closed rodent-infested spaces before entering them. Wear a respirator when cleaning buildings with heavy rodent infestations.
  • Heavily infested areas should be brought to the attention of the relevant state or federal health officials before cleaning.
Posted on

Deer Mice : Portland

I have lived with deer mice in different places all over the country, and many of my friends and family have (and still do).

Let me say first that I’m only addressing hantavirus because I skimmed your post history, and not because it immediately came to mind as threat-level-red-tier information. In Oregon, hantavirus is quite rare. There have been fewer than twenty cases in over twenty years. If it makes you feel better (which I hope it does maybe), I am a healthy woman in my thirties who (before I was aware that there was danger) has swept up and even vacuumed Oregonian mouse shit many times, and I live to tell the tales. I know anecdotes aren’t data, but I’m talking dozens.

That said, mice can be very destructive. If you are renting, you’ll need to let your landlord know if you’re concerned that there may be an infestation. If you’re a homeowner, you’re going to want to spend the money that you need to spend to hire a professional pest management company. They can chew their way into fire hazards and thousands of dollars of damage — and that is the much more common fear with these creatures, and it’s worth an expert’s opinion and equipment to deal with the problem.

I know it probably sucks to be dealing with mice right now — especially since masks and gloves and bleach and the whole heynana would ordinarily be in easy supply — but I think you’re gonna be okay. Take a hot shower, some deep breaths, sip some tea.

Posted on

Coronavirus Explained: Symptoms, Lockdowns And All Your COVID-19 Questions Answered

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.
The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed our way of life, shut down entire countries and shuttered businesses across the globe. After an initial outbreak of disease in Wuhan, China, that began in December 2019, the novel virus has spread to over 180 countries, with the US and the European nations of Spain, Italy and France the worst hit. As scientists and researchers race toward a vaccine, governments are attempting to mitigate the economic damage with stimulus checks and tax cuts and contain further spread of the disease with social distancing measures and lockdowns.

Researchers linked the pathogen to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses in January. That family contains viruses responsible for previous outbreaks of the respiratory diseases SARS and MERS, as well as some cases of the common cold. On March 11, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, announced the outbreak of the disease, dubbed COVID-19, would be declared a pandemic. It is the first time any coronavirus has been characterized as such.

The situation continues to evolve as more information becomes available. We’ve collated everything we know about the virus, what’s next for researchers, what steps you can take to reduce your risk, how to deal with quarantines and lockdowns, and how governments are providing assistance such as stimulus checks.

Our coronavirus pandemic hub will show you the latest stories. Clicking on the titles below will take you to the relevant section of the guide:

What is COVID-19?

What is a pandemic?

Where did the virus come from?

How many confirmed cases and deaths have been reported?

What is the fatality rate of COVID-19?

How do we know it’s a new coronavirus?

How is coronavirus spread?

Why do people keep saying “flatten the curve”?

Can I get coronavirus from a package?

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?

How infectious is the coronavirus?

Should you make your own hand sanitizer?

Is there a treatment for the coronavirus?

Can you take ibuprofen for coronavirus?

Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?

How to reduce your risk of the coronavirus

Should I wear a face mask?

What’s been canceled by coronavirus?

Life in lockdown: Guides for your coronavirus quarantine

Coronavirus stimulus checks: CNET guides

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses belong to a family known as “Coronaviridae,” and under an electron microscope they look like spiked rings. They’re named for these spikes, which form a halo or “crown” (corona is Latin for crown) around the viral body.

Coronaviruses contain a single strand of RNA (as opposed to DNA, which is double-stranded) within their viral body (or “viral envelope”). As a virus, they can’t reproduce without getting inside living cells and hijacking the machinery within. The spikes on the viral envelope help coronaviruses bind to cells, and then get inside them as if jimmying their way through a locked door. Once inside, they turn the cell into a virus factory — the RNA and a handful of enzymes use the cell’s machinery to produce more viruses, which are then shipped out of the cell and infect other cells. Thus, the cycle starts anew.

Posted on

So What Is Hantavirus And How Does It Spread?

Chinese state media has reported a person dying of a virus called Hantavirus today. The news has spread panic when the world is already fighting the novel coronavirus. Coronavirus has already killed over 16000 people and the outbreak is not under control as of yet.

The news spread like wildfire and has become the top trend on Twitter after tweet by Chinese state media. However, do not panic as this virus is not new. Infact, it has been around for decades and is pretty well known.

Chinese state media company, Global Times reported the following:

“A person from Yunnan Province died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus on Monday. He was tested positive for hantavirus. Other 32 people on bus were tested.”

The news has since become the number 1 trend on Twitter with thousands of tweets discussing the death from Hantavirus.

So what is Hantavirus and how does it spread? Some people are thinking of it as a new virus but it is not new. United States National Center For Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states that this family of viruses has 21 species. The virus has its roots in Korea when it was discovered to cause fever near the villages of Hantan River in 1978.

In 1981, a new genus termed as “hantavirus” was introduced in the Bunyaviridae family, which included the viruses that cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). Center for disease control (CDC) also states that the virus is mainly spread by rats. Anyone coming in contact with remains or fecal matter of rats can contract the virus.

“Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as ‘New World’ hantaviruses and may cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome [HPS],” CDC says. “Other hantaviruses, known as ‘Old World’ hantaviruses, are found mostly in Europe and Asia and may cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome [HFRS].”

Here are the symptoms of someone contracting Hantavirus. At first, the person will experience severe fatigue, fever and sore muscles. After a few days, this will convert into fever, nausea, diarrhea and stomach pain. So, there is no need to panic from the news of Hantavirus and we should all take due precautions of coming in contact with any rodent related remains or fecal matter.

Posted on

The Peoples Paths

A CNN feature, originating in San Francisco, reports the death last month of a 55-year-old man after a Hantavirus infection. The man, otherwise healthy, died three weeks after a family outing in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Biologists from the California Dept of Health Services are reported as saying that 12-15 percent of all deer mice trapped in the area carry the Hantavirus.

The following information is taken from the PROMED list and is in the public domain: “This is in response to the question of October 10 about recent cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in California. Permission to distribute this information has been granted by Michele Jay of the California Dept of Health Services. …some precise geographic details [have been edited] in case this material is sensitive.

HANTAVIRUS – CALIFORNIA, USA (2)

News from California:

A total of 13 (8 fatal) California residents have been diagnosed with HPS dating back to 1980. Since January 1, 1994, 8 (3 fatal) cases have been documented. Two new HPS cases were identified during September [1995]:

CASE #12. A 55 year old white male from Contra Costa County was diagnosed with HPS this month. He became ill with flu-like signs on 27 Aug 1995 and was hospitalized on 1 Sep 1995. He had thrombocytopenia, an elevated hematocrit, and bilateral pulmonary infiltrates; he died on 2 Sep despite aggressive supportive care, including intubation and mechanical ventilation.

The patient showed IgG and IgM antibodies to SNV [Sin Nombre virus] by ELISA serology at VRDL. The diagnosis was confirmed by western blot, RIBA, and PCR testing at the University of New Mexico.

In addition to spending time before illness at his home and work place in the Bay Area, he and his family camped in the Sierras from 5 to 11 Aug 1995. The private campground is located at 5800 feet elevation on the border of Nevada and Placer Counties. Vector-Borne Disease Section staff will conduct environmental investigations of potential exposure sites, including small mammal trapping. Public health advisories were jointly issued by Nevada and Placer County Health Departments and widely picked up by the media.

CASE #13. A 32 year old white female from Plumas County was also diagnosed with HPS this month. On 15 Sep 1995 she complained of flu-like symptoms. She was admitted to a local hospital on 19 Sep 1995 with fever, aches, and chest tightness. Several clinical findings were typical for HPS: bilateral interstitial pulmonary infiltrates, thrombocytopenia, atypical lymphocytes, and a decreasing albumin. She never required intubation and is currently recovering at home. Sera collected on 25 Sep 1995 showed positive IgG and IgM titers by ELISA at VRDL.

A comparison of sera collected early in the course of her illness on 19 and 22 Sep 1995 (rescued from the trash can) showed seroconversion by RIBA assay at University of New Mexico; this is a rarely documented finding. PCR was also positive at UNM. This case was relatively mild and HPS may not have been suspected except for the publicity from Case #12. As with several other cases, it was a family member who alerted local health department people and the physician to the possibility of hantavirus infection.

Four days prior to illness the patient raked hay and noted many mice. Other potential rodent exposures could have occurred at a horse stable near her house or while working as a house cleaner. Patient interviews and environmental investigations are underway, including small mammal trapping.

NOTE: CASE #11 (follow-up): Results from field and laboratory studies of the Mono County resident described in the last HPMR are as follows: this patient had traveled to New Mexico 10 days prior to illness and died shortly after hospitalization. Before leaving on his trip, he thoroughly cleaned his home in Mono County, California; he reportedly had a rodent problem at his home. Mice trapped at a potential exposure site in New Mexico were seronegative. In contrast, 6/11 deer mice trapped around his home in Mono County were seropositive. Molecular epidemiology studies at the University of New Mexico strongly suggested that his infection occurred in California, specifically in and around his residence.

Posted on

China Reported First Death By Hantavirus – Spark Health MD

Right now when the coronavirus has shaken the whole world, the least that people expect is the rising risk of another disease. Unfortunately, this is true and there are a number of other diseases being reported during this coronavirus pandemic that is worrisome.

Some of these diseases are bird flu, swine flu and the latest in this list is hantavirus. Cases of bird flu and swine flu are already reported from a number of countries including India. Now, this first confirmed case of hantavirus caused death in China is making to headlines.

The Global Times China has tweeted a few hours ago that one patient from a Chinese province, Yunnan has lost his life while traveling to Shandong (another Chinese province). He was later confirmed to be hantavirus positive. The other 32 passengers of the bus who were traveling with him are currently being tested for this virus.

Also Read: Human Immune System is Effective Against a Number of Viruses

Hantavirus is not just one virus but a bunch of various RNA viruses that belong to family Bunyaviridae of viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported hantaviruses to spread through rodents and cause respiratory diseases in patients that are named hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).

The hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is common among Americans and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is common in people from China, Russia, Japan, and Korea. However, some of the hantavirus cases are also seen in people from Scandinavian countries and Western Europian countries. Note that this virus only transmits through direct contact with an infected object or contact with excretory material from rodents.

Hantavirus was first seen in 1993 when the US health officials reported initial outbreaks of this disease in four states including; Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. The common facts among all the positive cases included breathing problems. But soon the researchers found demographic associations with this disease. A rather bigger outbreak of HPS was reported from Yosemite National Park, Califonia in the year 2012. This disease was caused by deer mouse infestations that contaminated the local tourists.

The early symptoms of hantavirus infection include fever, body pain, soreness of muscles, fatigue, headache, abdominal discomfort and chills. An untreated infection can lead to further complications such as coughing, sneezing, difficulty in breathing which could be fatal. The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that HPS has a 38% mortality rate.

These symptoms are the same in HFRS with some additional symptoms that include an extremely low bp, vascular leakage, and sometimes acute kidney failure. There are rare chances for HPS and HFRS to be transmitted from one person to another.

Also read- How Crucial is the Cellular Communications Between the Detached Cancerous Cells and Fibroblast for Growing Metastasis

As already mentioned, there is more than one member of hantavirus, each one of these strains is related to a different type of host which is a rodent in this case. The virus is transmitted when it makes its way from rodents’ fecal material and saliva to a person. In extremely rare cases, it is also possible to get this virus from an infected animal bite. It is also possible for a person to get this virus if he touches his nose or mouth after being contaminated with any fecal material of a contaminated rodent or eating contaminated food.

People are much likely to get hantavirus from rural places such as during a trip to a forest, working in a field or working at a farm where rodents are abundant. This new case of hantavirus related death has been into light when coronavirus is already causing big trouble for the world. The coronavirus has now reached almost all international destinations and this news of hantavirus being identified in China might add up to the stress caused by the coronavirus.

Posted on

Coronavirus Discussion Thread – Page 358 – Digital Spy

There was a good article in The Guardian recently, where it basically talked about the fact that there was similar mass hysteria around the time of SARS and Swine Flu and ultimately they fizzled out. I’m not saying this will be the case in this instance and there will likely be further fatalities sadly but this could end up killing less people than conventional flu this winter. I can’t help thinking that come Christmas time we’ll all look back on this and wonder what all the fuss was about. Cases hardly rocketing in this country and falling in Italy and China already.

Coronavirus: Worldwide peak will come next winter, scientific model predicts
A model predicting transmission rates suggests the novel coronavirus could fall during the summer before rising again in winter.https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-worldwide-peak-will-come-next-winter-scientific-model-predicts-11954441

That is indeed a plausible scenario. Hopefully, by winter 2020/21 there will be some pharmaceutical treatments available to reduce the efficiency and effects of the Covid-19 virus although an actual vaccine might only arrive towards the end of 2021 or later.

In other news, Dr Jenny Harris, deputy chief medical officer, said today that she expects that thousands of Britons will be infected over the next few weeks:
Dr Jenny Harris wrote:

“We will have significant numbers in the way that the country is not used to.

We will see many thousands of people infected by coronavirus, that’s what we’re seeing in other countries”.

France and Germany are also roughly where the USA is right now although their social insurance health systems are likely to be able to better cope than the USA’s fragmented private insurance healthcare system. It is also possible that within a fortnight, the UK will be where Italy is right now with similar restrictions being applied.

The British government is certainly planning for such a scenario because a leaked government memo confirmed that the government will be stocking up on body bags ==> https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/10/uk-stockpiling-body-bags-coronavirus-crisis-12375394/

Yesterday’s Radio 4 PM programme started with an interesting discussion on why the government’s currently taking the measures that they are ==> https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000g4zv

A leaked memo and body bags do you know how often that story hits the press last time was due to Brexit according to the politics forum last September ,whilst you may not know that goes on all the time a friend of mine is one of the people in the Cabinet Office ( civil service ) who deals with it along with other emergency planning but body bags tend to be dealt with by each authority . Many body bags are are not reusable that are used for many scenarios, NHS, crimes etc and have to be replaced regularly and ordering extra in case of any supply issue is common sense and they are always kept in surplus level in case of war, mass outbreaks of disease , delays in supply chains etc I mean in the UK last May we had 200 deaths by stabbing alone, that’s 400 body bags used minimum , one at the crime scene then when said body is delivered to the morgue for post mortem another is used later .The media do like to sensationalise and act as though this is a first when it is not.

Local authorties have constant emergency plans for morgues and body bags

For example Merton their leisure Culture and Greenspaces dept deals with storing bodies in an emergency

https://www.merton.gov.uk/assets/Documents/Major Incident Plan 2016.pdf

To provide body holding areas and burial facilities as required

Dover EP

https://www.dover.gov.uk/Emergencies/Major-Emergency-Plan.pdf

Excess deaths are significant numbers of deaths over a period of time where the death rate exceeds
normal capacities in certification, registration and funerals, and will often be over a wide area and an
extended period of time. The response makes use of business continuity arrangements to provide
additional capacity and may also demand body storage arrangements pending funerals. The KRF
Excess Deaths Plan deals with this contingency.

Posted on

Hantavirus Fear Of Human To Human Transmission By Sneezing Are Unfounded

Coronavirus outbreak is not yet over, but some fears arose after a man was reported dead in China due to another virus called hantavirus. According to China Global Times, the man died on his way back to Shandong province to work on a bus.

Hantavirus has instantly become a trend on social media. Lots of posts have been using the #Hantavirus on Twitter.

The hantavirus and the Coronavirus are not similar in the transmission, as hantavirus cannot be transferred from human to human by sneezing or other respiratory ways.

Newsweek notes sometimes, close contact with those sick from the hantavirus might contract it. Many people are confused about the hantavirus and some people panic, thinking it the same transmission method as the coronavirus but it’s actually not.

Hantavirus also is known as orthohantavirus, is a disease that spread from rodents. The disease cause infections in the rodent but do not cause disease in them. Humans who suffer from this disease may suffer from rash, fever, vomiting and more.

How does Orthohantavirus spread?

Infection usually comes from consuming the urine, feces, saliva of a rodent. Though, more rarely it can come from being bitten or inhaling the feces in dust form. People are at particular risk if they live in dusty areas with rodent infestations.

How long does it take the Orthohantavirus patient to die?

According to CCHOS, it takes 2-4 weeks for a person suffering from the disease to potentially pass away.

According to CCHOS, the Hantavirus disease is very dangerous as about 38 percent of people who get infected die.

Which rodent carries Orthohantavirus?

Hantavirus is carried by infected deer mice and rats. It is believed that if a human breathes in contaminated droppings coming from an infected deer mice or rat they may get in infected by the hantavirus.

Is there a cure for Orthohantavirus?

There is no cure for hantavirus and according to CCHOS about 40 percent of infected people recover from the disease.

But ‘the world is much better equipped to deal with it (than Covid 19), including holding vaccines’, according to The Independent.

The symptoms of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

  • Fever
  • body aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rash
  • Dry cough
  • Breathing difficultly
  • headaches

Can dogs and cats spread Orthohantavirus?

According to MedicineNet, hantavirus is not known to be spread by another type of animal apart from specific types of rodents. Dog and cat are not known to be infected by hantavirus.

Does the rays of the sun kill Orthohantavirus?

Yes, sun Ray affects Hantavirus so the risk of Orthohantavirus is lower outdoors than indoors.

How to prevent Orthohantavirus?

Reduce or get rid of rodents, such as rats, and deer mice in your home, workplace and more. Cover up holes in your house and in your garbage from preventing rats from getting inside.