Posted on

Seroepizootiology Of Hantavirus Infection In Indigenous Rodents In Korea, During 2020-2020 – Korea University

AU – Baek, A.

AU – Ju, Luck

AU – Song, Jin Won

AU – Park, Kwang Sook

AU – Kho, Eun Young

AU – Ryu, Sung Ho

AU – Yanagihara, Richard

AU – Song, Ki-Joon

PY – 2002/1/1

Y1 – 2002/1/1

N2 – To better understand the reservoir host range and distribution of hantaviruses in small mammal populations in Korea, a serological survey was conducted on 1,375 wild rodents and 62 insectivores captured in seven provinces during the six-year period, 1995 to 2000. As determined by the indirect immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) test, 90 (13.1%) of 685 Apodemus agrarius, 47 (13.6%) of 345 Apodemus peninsulae, and 4 (6.5%) of 62 Crocidura laciura were seropositive against the Hantaan virus, while 38 (13.5%) of 282 Eothenomys regulus were seropositive against the Puumala virus. Serological evidence for hantavirus infection was not found in 50 Microtus fortis, six Micromys minutus, six Mus musculus, and one Cricetulus triton. Our serological data indicate that hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)-related hantaviruses are widely distributed in indigenous rodents in Korea. Particularly noteworthy was the high seropositivity rates among Apodemus peninsulae and Eothenomys regulus captured in certain mountainous regions, suggesting that HFRS may be under-reported among nearby residents or among individuals who might visit such areas for recreational or occupational purposes.

AB – To better understand the reservoir host range and distribution of hantaviruses in small mammal populations in Korea, a serological survey was conducted on 1,375 wild rodents and 62 insectivores captured in seven provinces during the six-year period, 1995 to 2000. As determined by the indirect immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) test, 90 (13.1%) of 685 Apodemus agrarius, 47 (13.6%) of 345 Apodemus peninsulae, and 4 (6.5%) of 62 Crocidura laciura were seropositive against the Hantaan virus, while 38 (13.5%) of 282 Eothenomys regulus were seropositive against the Puumala virus. Serological evidence for hantavirus infection was not found in 50 Microtus fortis, six Micromys minutus, six Mus musculus, and one Cricetulus triton. Our serological data indicate that hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)-related hantaviruses are widely distributed in indigenous rodents in Korea. Particularly noteworthy was the high seropositivity rates among Apodemus peninsulae and Eothenomys regulus captured in certain mountainous regions, suggesting that HFRS may be under-reported among nearby residents or among individuals who might visit such areas for recreational or occupational purposes.

Posted on

Hantavirus Treatment – Health Hearty

Hantavirus treatment involves hospitalization of the patient and providing respiration support, till the condition resolves on its own. Learn more about hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, its treatment as well as prevention by going through the article given below.

There are many types of diseases that are caused by nasty viruses. There are certain viruses that can spread to humans from their primary animal host. One such virus is the hantavirus that can cause a very serious lung infection in humans. This virus infects deer mice and other wild rodents and can spread to humans.

About Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

It is a respiratory illness that affects the lungs. This serious infection can prove to be a fatal infection. It was a previously unknown infection in humans that was discovered in 1993 by scientists in New Mexico. The virus naturally occurs in many regions of North and South America. It is an airborne virus and can affect any person of any age. However, it can be easily prevented, only if one is aware of the preventive measures.

Hantaviruses are negative-sense RNA viruses. They belong to the virus family of Bunyaviridae. They are a newly discovered virus genus and caused an outbreak in 1993. This outbreak occurred in the Four Corners region of southwestern United States. The viral agent was called the Sin Nombre virus (SNV), that is, nameless virus. It was traced down to a rodent host and since then many other viruses along with hantavirus and Sin Nombre virus have been identified.

The virus is carried by rodents and deer mice. It is present in the urine and feces of these animals. However, it causes no form of illness or symptoms in the animals it infects. When a human comes in contact with the airborne virus or contaminated dust from mice droppings or nest, it can lead to an infection. Humans may also come in contact with contaminated dust when cleaning their houses, sheds, roofs as well as an area that was closed or empty for a really long time. This disease is commonly seen affected hikers and campers of the US national parks. These people are most likely to sleep on forest floors or place their sleeping backs in a musty cabin. Thus, they can be exposed to the droppings and contaminated soil by wild rodents.

People infected with hantavirus suffer from atypical symptoms that last for 3 to 5 days. These symptoms include: headache, chills, dizziness, dry cough, nausea, vomiting and gastrointestinal upsets. More than half of the patients suffer from diarrhea, malaise and lightheadedness. Apart from these symptoms, one may even suffer from shortness of breath, dizziness, arthralgia, back pain, chest pain and excessive sweating. During this time, it is very rarely correctly diagnosed. This is because the cough and tachypnea generally develop after about 7 days. When the patient develops cardiopulmonary symptoms, their condition worsens rapidly. Then, they are hospitalized and kept on a 24 hour ventilation. This is because their lungs are rapidly filled with fluid and thus, suffer from breathing problems. Patients develop breathing problems and may die within a few hours. Death is due to respiratory failure or shock. In some cases, death may occur within 1 to 2 days of developing breathing trouble. It has been found about 4 in 10 patients suffering from HPS never survive.

There is no specific treatment available as of now. The only treatment available is placing the patient on supportive care. The doctor may advise broad-spectrum antibiotics as well as antipyretics and analgesia. Patients are usually placed in an intensive care unit (ICU) for close monitoring and provision of respiratory support. Apart from this, there is not much that can be done to treat the patient. In some cases, the doctor may advise oxygen therapy for the treatment.

Preventive Measures

The infection can be prevented by avoiding contact with rodent droppings and urine. In order to do so, one should take steps to eliminate rodent infestations in and around their houses. One should call an exterminator or the local health department to take care of the rodent infection and control. When cleaning droppings around the house, one should wear disposable gloves and an N95 disposable mask. One should soak the dead mice, nests and droppings in a 1:10 solution of sodium hypochlorite (household bleach). Dispose off the disposable gloves, masks and clothing. Wash hands with a disinfectant properly and thoroughly.

As you can see, there is no cure or specific treatment for this fatal disease. Thus, prevention is the only key to avoid hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

Posted on

Arjunpuri In Qatar: Coronavirus: Why Some Countries Wear Face Masks And Others Don’t

Step outside your door without a face mask in Hong Kong, Seoul or Tokyo these days, and you may well get a disapproving look.

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak some places have fully embraced wearing face masks, and anyone caught without one risks becoming a social pariah.

But in many other parts of the world, from the UK and the US to Sydney and Singapore, it’s still perfectly acceptable to walk around bare-faced.

Why some countries embrace masks while others shun them is not just about government directives and medical advice – it’s also about culture and history. But as this pandemic worsens, will this change?

People wearing masks has become an ubiquitous sight in many places in Asia, including China. AFP

The official word on face masks
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the official advice from the World Health Organization has been clear. Only two types of people should wear masks: those who are sick and show symptoms, and those who are caring for people who are suspected to have the coronavirus.

Nobody else needs to wear a mask, and there are several reasons for that.

One is that a mask is not seen as reliable protection, given that current research shows the virus is spread by droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces. So it could protect you, but only in certain situations such as when you’re in close quarters with others where someone infected might sneeze or cough near your face. This is why experts say frequent hand washing with soap and water is far more effective.

Removing a mask requires special attention to avoid hand contamination, and it could also breed a false sense of security.

Yet in some parts of Asia everyone now wears a mask by default – it is seen as safer and more considerate.

In mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan, the broad assumption is that anyone could be a carrier of the virus, even healthy people. So in the spirit of solidarity, you need to protect others from yourself.

Some of these governments are urging everyone to wear a mask, and in some parts of China you could even be arrested and punished for not wearing one.

Meanwhile, in Indonesia and the Philippines, where there are suspicions that there are many under-reported cases, most people in major cities have begun wearing masks to protect themselves from others.

In Wuhan and Guangzhou, Chinese authorities have said those not wearing masks could face arrest. AFP

For many of these countries, mask-wearing was a cultural norm even before the coronavirus outbreak. They’ve even become fashion statements – at one point Hello Kitty face masks were the rage in the street markets of Hong Kong.

In East Asia, many people are used to wearing masks when they are sick or when it’s hayfever season, because it’s considered impolite to be sneezing or coughing openly. The 2003 Sars virus outbreak, which affected several countries in the region, also drove home the importance of wearing masks, particularly in Hong Kong, where many died as a result of the virus.

So one key difference between these societies and Western ones, is that they have experienced contagion before – and the memories are still fresh and painful.

Meanwhile, in South East Asia, especially in more densely-populated cities, many wear masks on the streets simply because of pollution.

But it hasn’t caught on everywhere in Asia – here in Singapore, the government has urged the public not to wear masks to ensure adequate supplies for healthcare workers, and most people walk around without one. There is substantial public trust in the government, so people are likely to listen to such advice.

In Hong Kong, you can buy different designs of masks. AFP

The mask as a social nudge
Some argue that ubiquitous mask wearing, as a very visual reminder of the dangers of the virus, could actually act as a “behavioural nudge” to you and others for overall better personal hygiene.

“Putting on a mask every day before you go out is like a ritual, like putting on a uniform, and in ritual behaviour you feel you have to live up to what the uniform stands for, which is more hygienic behaviour like not touching your face or avoiding crowded places and social distancing,” said Donald Low, a behavioural economist and professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Then, there’s the idea that every little bit counts in the war the world is waging against the virus.

“We can’t say if face masks are ineffective, but we presume they have some effect because that’s the protection we give to healthcare workers,” said Benjamin Cowling, an epidemiologist with Hong Kong University.

Can wearing a mask act as a daily reminder to yourself and others to practise better hygiene? AFP

“If face masks are used on a lot of people in crowded areas, I think it would have some effect on public transmission, and at the moment we’re looking for every small measure we can to reduce transmission – it adds up.”

But there are downsides of course. Some places such as Japan, Indonesia and Thailand are facing shortages at the moment, and South Korea has had to ration out masks.

There is the fear that people may end up re-using masks – which is unhygienic – use masks sold on the black market, or wear homemade masks, which could be of inferior quality and essentially useless.

People who do not wear masks in these places have also been stigmatised, to the point that they are shunned and blocked from shops and buildings.

In Hong Kong, some tabloids have splashed pictures on their covers of Westerners not wearing masks and congregating in groups in the city’s nightlife district, and criticised expatriates and tourists for not taking enough precautions.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was recently seen wearing a cloth mask that matched his outfit. Reuters

But the discrimination works both ways.
I’m so tired of being harassed for wearing masks in the US. I wore a mask on my way to work today. One man walked up and coughed loudly at me. A few minutes later, another man aggressively approached me&asked: “r u a nurse?” I’m no nurse. I just know what’s coming for all of us.
– Xinyan Yu (@xinyanyu) March 18, 2020

In countries where mask wearing is not the norm, such as the West, those who do wear masks have been shunned or even attacked. It hasn’t helped that many of these mask wearers are Asians.

But those societies that do advocate everyone wearing a mask may have a point and increasingly, experts are now questioning the official WHO advice.

Undocumented cases
Firstly, there is some emerging evidence that there are more “silent carriers”, or healthy people with the virus who show little or no symptoms, than experts initially thought.

In China, it is estimated that a third of all positive cases show no symptoms, according to classified Chinese government data seen by the South China Morning Post.

On the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship that docked in Yokohama, about half of the more than 600 positive cases found onboard were found to have no symptoms.

A similar proportion of asymptomatic cases has been reported in Iceland, which says it is testing a higher proportion of citizens than anywhere else in the world.

The prevailing belief has been that because these people do not exhibit symptoms, they are not very contagious. But some are questioning this now. Maybe if everyone wore a mask those silent carriers wouldn’t turn into spreaders?

A recently published study of cases in China found that “undocumented cases of infection”, or those with either mild or no symptoms, were significantly contagious and could have been responsible for nearly 80% of positive virus cases.
It’s just one study though, and future research will no doubt add nuance to the overall picture.

The face mask may be a product of recent history, experience with contagion and cultural norm. But as the scale of this pandemic grows, along with evidence and research, our behaviour may yet change again.

Posted on

Department Of Agriculture

Hantaviruses (genus Hantavirus, family Bunyaviridae) are a group of at least 25 antigenically distinct viruses carried in rodents. Some of these viruses can cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in humans.

Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is a group of clinically similar diseases that occur throughout Eurasia. HFRS includes several diseases that formerly had other names, including Korean hemorrhagic fever, epidemic hemorrhagic fever and nephropathia epidemica. Hantaviruses that can cause HFRS include Hantaan virus, Puumala virus, Dobrava virus and Seoul virus.

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a clinical syndrome caused by a number of hantaviruses in North and South America. In the United States, the Sin Nombre virus causes most cases. HPS can also result from infection by the New York, Black Creek, Bayou, Andes, Oran, Lechiguanas, Bermejo, Laguna Negra, Choclo, Araraquara and Castelo dos Sonhos viruses, as well as other unnamed hantaviruses.

Hantaviruses that have not been linked to human disease include the Isla Vista, Bloodland Lake, Muleshoe, Prospect Hill and El Moro Canyon viruses in North America, the Rio Segundo virus in Costa Rica and the Rio Mamore virus in Bolivia. European and Asian hantaviruses that have not been implicated in any human disease include Thailand virus in Thailand, Khabarovsk virus in Russia, Thottapalayam virus in India, Tula virus in Europe and Topografov virus in Siberia.

Geographic Distribution

Hantaviruses are found worldwide in rodents. The viruses that cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome seem to occur only in North, Central and South America. Confirmed human cases have been seen in the United States, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Panama and Uruguay. Viruses associated with HPS in the United States include the Sin Nombre, New York, Black Creek and Bayou viruses. The Sin Nombre virus has also been found in Canada. In South America, HPS is caused by the Andes virus in Argentina and Chile, the Bermejo virus in Bolivia and Argentina, the Oran and Lechiguanas viruses in Argentina, the Laguna Negra virus in Paraguay and Bolivia, the Choclo virus in Panama, and the Araraquara and Castelo dos Sonhos viruses in Brazil.

HFRS is mainly seen in Europe and Asia; however, one causative agent, the Seoul virus, can be found worldwide and has been associated with cases of HFRS in the United States. HFRS is also caused by the Hantaan virus in China, Russia and Korea, the Puumala virus in Europe, Russia and Scandinavia, and the Dobrava virus in the Balkans.

Rodents are the reservoir host for hantaviruses; infections can be spread among the natural hosts by aerosols and bites. Virus is found in rodent saliva, feces and urine. Humans can become incidental hosts when they come into contact with infected rodents or their excretions. Often, rodent urine, droppings or nests are disturbed in enclosed areas; the viruses are then inhaled in aerosolized dust. Hantaviruses can also be transmitted through broken skin, the conjunctiva and other mucous membranes, by rodent bites and possibly by ingestion. Arthropod vectors do not seem to exist. Vertical transmission also appears to be negligible or nonexistent. Person to person spread has not been seen in HPS cases in North America or HFRS in Eurasia but may occur with the Andes virus in Argentina.

Hantaviruses are sensitive to drying but have been found in neutral solutions for several hours at 37° C and for several days in colder temperatures. Infectious viruses have also been detected in dried cell cultures for up to 2 days.


Hantaviruses are susceptible to 1% sodium hypochlorite, 2% glutaraldehyde and 70% ethanol. A 10% sodium hypochlorite solution has been recommended for heavily soiled areas. Hantaviruses are also susceptible to acid (pH 5) conditions and can be inactivated by heating to 60° C for 1 hour.

Infections in Humans

The incubation period varies from 3 to 60 days; most often, the symptoms appear after 14 to 30 days.

Clinical Signs

Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome
The onset of HFRS is usually abrupt; the initial clinical signs may include fever, chills, prostration, headache and backache. Patients may also develop injected mucous membranes, a flushed face and conjunctivae, or a petechial rash, usually on the palate and axillae. The fever typically lasts for 3 to 8 days and is followed by a proteinuric stage. Hypotension may develop during this phase of the disease and can last for hours or days. Nausea and vomiting often occur and death may result from acute shock. This stage is typically followed by an oliguric phase then a diuretic phase as kidney function improves. Death can occur at any point, but is particularly common during the hypotensive or oliguric phases. In severe cases, kidney failure, pulmonary edema or disseminated intravascular coagulation may be seen. Convalescence can take weeks or months.

The severity of disease varies with the causative agent. Hantaan virus and Dobrava virus infections usually cause severe symptoms. Seoul virus generally results in more moderate disease and Puumala infections are typically mild.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is usually characterized by pulmonary rather than kidney disease. The initial phase usually lasts for 3 to 5 days; the clinical signs during this period may include fever, myalgia, headache, chills, dizziness, malaise, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea. Arthralgia, back pain and abdominal pain are occasionally seen. Respiratory distress and hypotension usually appear abruptly, with cough and tachypnea followed by pulmonary edema and evidence of hypoxia. Cardiac abnormalities may be seen, including bradycardia, ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. After the onset of the cardiopulmonary phase, the disease usually progresses rapidly; patients may be hospitalized and require mechanical ventilation within 24 hours. Kidney disease develops occasionally, but is most often mild; kidney damage occurs more often with the Andes, Bayou and Black Creek viruses. Although recovery is rapid, convalescence may last for weeks or months. Asymptomatic or mild infections appear to be rare.


Although viruses can be found in the blood and urine of HFRS patients, no person-to-person transmission has been seen in cases of HPS in North America or HFRS in Eurasia. Person-to-person transmission has been reported during an outbreak of Andes virus in South America: a physician apparently contracted an infection after exposure to a patient’s blood and an adolescent seems to have contracted the disease from her parents. These cases remain to be confirmed by laboratory investigation.

Hantavirus infections are often diagnosed by serology. IgM in acute phase sera or a rise in IgG titer is diagnostic. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) assays are available for the Sin Nombre virus as well as other hantaviruses. Immunoblotting (Western blotting) and neutralizing plaque assays may also be used. A rapid immunoblot strip assay (RIBA) that detects antibodies to Sin Nombre and other hantaviruses is being developed.

Infections can also be diagnosed by finding antigens in tissues with immunohistochemistry or RNA with reverse transcriptase- polymerase chain reaction assays (RT-PCR). Virus isolation is rarely used, as hantaviruses are difficult to isolate from humans.

Treatment and Vaccination

Supportive care is the mainstay of treatment. Intensive care may be required. Ribavirin may be helpful in early cases of HFRS, but has not been effective for HPS to date. Vaccines are not available.

Morbidity and Mortality

Hantavirus outbreaks are often associated with increased rodent populations or environmental factors that lead to increased human exposure to rodents. Worldwide, approximately 150,000 to 200,000 people are hospitalized with HFRS each year. Different hantaviruses tend to cause mild, moderate or severe cases of HFRS; the mortality rate can vary from 0.1 to 3% for Puumala virus infections, to approximately 5% to 15% for Hantaan and Dobrava virus infections. Seoul virus tends to cause moderate disease with mortality rates of approximately 1%. Sin Nombre and New York virus infections are often fatal; the mortality rate is estimated to be 40 to 50%. The renal variant form of HPS caused by the Andes, Bayou and Black Creek viruses also has a high mortality rate. Convalescence from either HFRS or HPS can take weeks or months, but patients usually recover full lung function.

Infections in Animals

Hantaviruses are found naturally in various species of rodents. Infections do not appear to be pathogenic to their rodent hosts and may be carried lifelong.

Hantavirus-associated diseases have not been reported in domestic animals. Antibodies have been found in cats and dogs in the United States and western Canada and cats in Europe. In one study, 9.6% of healthy cats in the United Kingdom and 23% of cats with chronic diseases were seropositive. Horses, cattle and coyotes were seronegative in one U.S. survey.

Internet Resources

“All about hantavirus. Technical information index.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sept 2000. 11 Dec 2002

Bennett M., G. Lloyd, N. Jones, A. Brown, A.J. Trees, C. McCracken, N.R. Smyth, C.J. Gaskell and R.M. Gaskell. “Hantavirus in some cat populations in Britain” Vet. Rec. 127 (1990): 548-549.

Leighton F.A., H.A. Artsob, M.C. Chu and J.G. Olson. “A serological survey of rural dogs and cats on the southwestern Canadian prairie for zoonotic pathogens.” Can. J. Public Health 92, no. 1 (Jan-Feb 2001): 67-71.

Malecki T.M., G.P. Jillson, J.P. Thilsted JP, J. Elrod, N. Torrez-Martinez and B. Hjelle. “Serologic survey for hantavirus infection in domestic animals and coyotes from New Mexico and northeastern Arizona.” J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 212, no. 7 (April 1998): 970-3.

“Material Safety Data Sheet – Hantavirus.” Canadian Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, Sept 2002. 11 Dec 2002

Nowotny N. “The domestic cat: a possible transmitter of viruses from rodents to man.” Lancet 343 (1994): 921.

Schmaljohn C. and B. Hjelle. “Hantaviruses: A global disease problem.” Emerg.

Posted on

Pet Allergy Control Measures

There are millions of pet in the U.S. The problem is, about 10% of Americans are having allergic reactions to animals. The pets that most commonly cause allergic reactions are dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rabbits, rats, and guinea pigs. These pets can all provide comfort and companionship for their owners, but they can also provide health issues as well.

Pet allergy happens when your immune system responds to particular animal proteins. This reaction causes inflammation of the nasal Pet passages (rhinitis), which results in sneezing, rhinitis, and other allergy symptoms; many of the same symptoms that are usually attributed to hay fever. Pet allergy sufferers may also develop skin issues. Those may include: red patches of skin, itchy skin, and hives. Most pet allergy symptoms will resemble those of the common cold virus, or hay fever. If these symptoms persist for longer than a week, a person should consider seeing his or her doctor. For someone with asthma, exposure to pets may cause more severe symptoms, such as: breathing difficulties, tightness in the chest, a whistling sound or wheezing when exhaling, difficulty sleeping which is caused by a shortness of breath, and a prominent wheezing.

A person will be more prone to pet allergies if allergies or asthma run in their family. Exposure to animals when one is young can have an effect on whether one will become allergic as they age. For example, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 2002, reported that when children were exposed to multiple pets at a young age, this seems to have had a protective effect against the children developing allergies later in life; and that includes both pet allergies and environmental allergies.

People become allergic to pets because of a pet’s dander, skin, urine, and saliva. With regard to birds, we would add feathers and excrement to the allergen mix. Also, pets have a way of spreading other environmental allergens, such as the dust and pollen that may accumulate in their fur. There is an issue of being accidentally exposed to pets even if you don’t have any of your own pets at home. If you are allergic and you are visiting a friend or relative with pets, make sure you take your allergy medication before your visit. If your pet allergy is particularly severe, see if your relative will make arrangements to temporarily remove the pet from their home during your stay.

Most of us can relate to the deep psychological bond that can develop between owners and their pets. Some doctors will callously instruct their patients to remove an animal from their home, despite this emotional interdependence. We consider this to be cruel and indifferent, and we feel that doctors should explore some of the ways patients can control their symptoms before having to part with their beloved “family members.” Next, let’s take a look at pet allergy control measures.

Before finding another home for your animal, consider trying some of the following precautions:

Brush your pet frequently and bathe it on a regular basis
• Do not sleep with your pet in the same room
• Consider wood or tile floors in your home, since they don’t collect allergens
• If you must have carpet, select ones with a low pile and steam clean them frequently. Better yet, use throw rugs that can be washed in hot water.
• Purchase a quality air filter or purifier, preferably with HEPA filtration
• Consider trying a good natural antihistamine, such as quercetin (you’ll find this in your local health food store)
• Make an appointment with an NAET (Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique) practitioner who can use energy-based techniques to identify your allergies and sensitivities, and eliminate them permanently

Posted on

First Serological Evidence Of Hantavirus Infection In Humans From The Orinoquia Region Of Colombia☆

Hantaviruses cause a significant number of human illnesses, making them a global public health threat. Approximately 150,000-200,000 patients with hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) are hospitalized each year throughout the world. On average, approximately 200 cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) per year are reported in the Americas, and although the number of cases is much smaller in number than that of HFRS, its average case fatality is about 40%.1

Hantaviruses are a large group of RNA viruses that belong to the family Bunyaviridae. Reservoirs for pathogenic hantaviruses are specific rodent species, suggesting a long history of virus rodent coevolution. Humans are accidental hosts; rodents are generally asymptomatic and may excrete the virus in their urine, saliva, and feces for months.2 HPS is caused by any of at least 25 hantavirus genotypes distributed throughout the Americas. All hantaviruses that cause HPS are hosted by rodents of the family Cricetidae. In general, each hantavirus is associated with a different rodent species or subspecies. However, antigenically and genetically distinct hantaviruses have been recently described from shrews, moles and bats.3

HPS is documented in several countries that border Colombia; however, only one HPS case has been reported in the nation, specifically during 2013, in Cordoba Department in the northwestern part of the country.4

With the aim of exploring hantavirus infection in other regions of Colombia a laboratory survey was designed enrolling patients with febrile syndromes from the municipalities of Meta Department, in the eastern area (Orinoquia region) of Colombia. Meta is characterized by savannahs and partially covered by dense tropical forest vegetation. Cattle raising and agriculture are among the main sources of employment. Domestic and peridomestic habitats are characterized by poor sanitation and rodents are common.

People enrolled in this study included those attending two hospitals in Meta from May 2013 to June 2014 with a documented temperature ≥38 °C for a maximum of seven days, accompanied by one or more of the following signs and symptoms: headache, myalgia, ocular pain, abdominal pain, arthralgia, generalized fatigue, cough, nausea or vomiting, sore throat, rhinorrhea, dyspnea, diarrhea, jaundice, dizziness, rash, ecchymosis, epistaxis, or gingival bleeding. Patients less than five years old or over 65 years old were excluded, as were individuals with a readily identifiable focus of infection. A total of 100 persons were involved in the study. Paired serum samples (in acute and convalesce phases) were collected from each person and prior individual consent was obtained, in accordance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki. Each participant completed a questionnaire that included personal data, ethnicity, household and workplace characteristics, occupation, domestic sightings of rodents, recreational activities, duration of residence in the area, and history of travel inside and outside the country. Serum samples were maintained at −70 °C until tested for hantavirus infection by IgG-ELISA using Sin Nombre virus (SNV) as antigen (Focus Diagnostics, USA) according to manufacturer’s instructions; SNV cross reacts with many other New World hantaviruses including Andes virus. Positive samples were also tested for leptospirosis by microagglutination test, dengue using IgM and IgG-ELISA (Focus Diagnostics), Rickettsia by Immunofluorescence (Focus Diagnostics), and thick smears for malaria.

Hantavirus infection was based on United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria.5 Accordingly, the infection was confirmed by seroconversion of specific IgG antibodies to SNV in three patients (two females and one male); other confirmatory tests (immunofluorescence assay or Western blot) were not used due to the high cost of these tests in Colombia. In seven other patients, positive IgG serology was obtained in both acute and convalescent phase sera, without rising of IgG values, suggesting previous exposure to a hantavirus.

Review of the clinical histories of the serologically confirmed cases showed common characteristics: five-day mean interval from onset of symptoms, fever >39.0 °C, myalgia, arthralgia, generalized fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, abdominal pain, and rash. Other findings included increased hematocrit, creatinine levels, and leukocyte counts. All patients had thrombocytopenia, significantly low platelet counts (98,000, 24,000 and 29,000), and slightly elevated liver enzymes. Chest radiographs were unremarkable. However, patients had no pulmonary edema; only mild respiratory symptoms.

Similar cases have been reported in Panama where 21% of diagnosed HPS patients did not show pulmonary edema and 44% had mild HPS with mild edema but no respiratory insufficiency. Similarly, the first clinical case of hantavirus infection reported in Colombia had no pulmonary edema.4

The mean age of positive cases in this study was 33 years. Briefly, patient 1 was a 32-year-old businesswoman with a history of contact with standing water a month before symptom onset. Patient 2, was an 18-year-old female student with a history of contact with standing water. Patient 3 was a 56-year-old male home builder who had a history of contact with sick animals and rodents.

Interestingly, two of the three positive patients were coinfected with dengue virus and one of them revealed bleeding in his right knee joint eight weeks later. Pleural effusion was detected in the patient who was negative for active dengue infection. Co-infections are common in the tropics. In Colombia, an endemic country for dengue and leptospirosis, co-infections with flaviviruses and even leptospira are frequent. However, none were found positive for leptospirosis, rickettsia, or malaria.

The serological data and the clinical and epidemiological features presented here are compatible with hantavirus fever. This is the first report of hantavirus infection in the Orinoquia region of Colombia. These findings are important for Colombian public health authorities and medical personnel, and argue for the implementation of clinical and laboratory surveillance for hantavirus infection in patients with previous exposure to rodents, presenting with fever and acute respiratory disorders.

Posted on

When The Virus Infects The Heart

Swedish scientist Dr Sumaiya Shaikh tweeted: ‘The #Hantavirus first emerged in 1950s in the American-Korean war in Korea (Hantan river).

‘It spreads from rat/mice if humans ingest their body fluids. Human-human transmission is rare. Please do not panic, unless you plan to eat rats.’

One person who recovered from the hantavirus told the CDC that it felt like ‘a tight band around my chest and a pillow over my face’.

The CDC says: ‘In Chile and Argentina, rare cases of person-to-person transmission have occurred.

‘There is no specific treatment, cure, or vaccine for hantavirus infection,” the CDC warned, saying patients often need intensive care to “help them through the period of severe respiratory distress.”

‘Therefore, if you have been around rodents and have symptoms of fever, deep muscle aches, and severe shortness of breath, see your doctor immediately.’

When the virus infects the heart, the damage reduces the organ’s ability to circulate blood through the body. This causes critically low blood pressure and a lack of oxygen throughout the body, which can quickly lead to organ failure and death.

Posted on

Nigeria Tightens Offshore Oil Rules After Vessel Workers Get

YENAGOA/LAGOS, Nigeria March 29 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s petroleum regulator has ordered oil and gas companies to reduce their offshore workforce and move to 28-day staff rotations as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to a circular seen by Reuters.

The restrictions came after the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said that six workers on board an offshore rig support vessel tested positive for coronavirus late last week.

Health experts are concerned about the potential for a widespread outbreak in Africa’s most populous country, which has about 200 million inhabitants. Nigeria has 97 confirmed coronavirus cases and one death from the virus.

The country is keen to protect oil production, which provides 90% of much-needed foreign exchange. A coronavirus case on an offshore rig could spread quickly among workers and have a potentially devastating impact on production.

Sarki Auwalu, director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, said that only staff on essential duties would be allowed to travel to offshore or remote locations.

“Non-essential staff currently at offshore/remote locations should be withdrawn with immediate effect,” he said in a statement.

The NPA said the six positive tests that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reported on a ship late last week were all aboard the Siem Marlin, a support ship for oil rigs that was sitting offshore Lagos.

The NPA said health officials accessed the vessel by helicopter. According to Reuters ship tracking, the vessel left the Onne Port Complex on the Bonny River Estuary on March 15, and in February visited the offshore terminals for Bonga and Bonny Light crude oil, two of Nigeria’s primary export grades.

The oil terminal visits were well outside the 14-day coronavirus incubation period.

Nigeria has shut international airports, closed all land borders and imposed curbs on cargo vessels allowed to dock at its ports in an effort to contain the outbreak.

Rivers State, in which Port Harcourt serves as the hub of Nigeria’s oil industry, closed its own borders to human traffic this week.

Oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria have previously said that workers’ health and safety is their top priority.

Industry sources said that a number of oil companies had already shifted from 14-day rotations to 28 days. Some are also implementing a 14-day quarantine for workers before they leave for rigs.

Oil prices have fallen by two thirds since the start of the year, which has forced Nigeria to cut its budget and prompted oil companies to reduce their spending plans. (Reporting by Tife Owolabi and Libby George, Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram and Libby George Editing by David Goodman and Frances Kerry)

Posted on

Risk Of Hantavirus

Hantavirus is also called Orthohantavirus disease which is 10 times more dangerous than coronavirus this is not a new virus, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) include black creek canal virus, was first-time recognized in 1993 and identified by Dr. Bruce Tempest hantavirus found in North, Central, and South America, Its a fatal pulmonary disease.
Hantavirus is a family of viruses spread transmitted to humans through inhalation of rodent or rats and Rats bites. It can cause multiple disease syndromes in people.

Hantavirus has been reported in many countries :

  1. In 1995, 728 cases have been reported across the United States of America.
  2. confirmed cases in Canada between 1989-2014.
  3. died in china in 2020.

Symptoms: Fever, Cough, Muscle pain, Laziness, Headache, and shortness of breath.

While Coronavirus is spreading quickly, more than 130 countries are anxious due to coronavirus (COVID-19) which emerged in china.

After china WHO (world health organization), declares it is a pandemic around the world.
The highest 738 death toll rate reported in last 24 hours in Spain.

Spain is facing various crises these days, 49,515 people are infected and total death is 3,647.
More than 10% of doctors and nurses have been infected.
Doctors complained that there is a lack of basic protective types of equipment as 514 people died in one day while Spain have been lockdown since 14, march.

Prince Charles positive for coronavirus

Price of wales, Charles 71, The heir of the British Throne and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth.

Charles has shown few symptoms on Monday then the test report came out is positive for novel coronavirus on Tuesday night but remains in good health and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall also tested but does not have the virus.
Now, Charles and Camilla are in self-isolation at Balmoral. They have a travel history both arrived in Scotland on Sunday, suddenly Charles shown mild symptoms. England is lockdown for 3 months.

Other VIPs reports also positive for novel-coronavirus.

India’s lockdown for 21 days

India, The second-most populated country in the world. India is lockdown for 21 days said PM Modi due to coronavirus, their health experts have warned the nation of 1.3 billion people might face the apocalypse if the harsh step is not taken because there is lack of doctors and medical emergencies, India doesn’t have enough hospitals and health workers. India has just 0.5 beds over 1000 people.
Police are strictly conducting those people who are around.

Around 649 people infected and 13 people have died in India, on the second day of lockdown. PM Modi, said essential services will be open for 3 hours from 8 am to 11 am. like supermarkets, milk, and wholesale market, no need to panic buying everything will be available.
The highest number of coronavirus cases 124 including 3 foreign nationals in Maharashtra, according to ministry.

Coronavirus is a widespread problem of the 21st century which we will have to face and fight to overcome around the world

Current news of coronavirus :

  • Around 472,368 people infected cases around the world.
  • 21,304 deaths are confirmed.
  • 114,718 people are recovered.

There are 35 medical companies and institutions are continuously trying to create such a vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world. They have been testing on animals.

According to world meter of coronavirus cases & deaths toll rate country wise :

  • In Italy, 74,386 infected cases and 7,503 deaths.
  • In China, 81,225 infected cases and 3,287 deaths.
  • In the U.S, 68,489 infected cases and 1,032 deaths.
  • In Iran, 27,017 infected cases and 2,077 deaths.
  • In France, 25,233 infected cases and 1,331 deaths.
  • The U.K, 9,529 infected cases and 465 deaths.
  • In Germany, 37,323infected cases and 206 deaths.

These countries are most affected by the coronavirus.

The United States of America President Donald Trump says that he wants to re-open the lockdown because their economy is going down. He said the Coronavirus cure is worse than the problem and people are going to die if lockdown will continue.

WHO (world health organization) warned on Tuesday that the U.S could become a new outburst of coronavirus. If the lockdown will discontinue.

Posted on

Yosemite Hantavirus Case Likely To Proceed To Trial

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal judge on Friday seemed likely to advance a lawsuit arising from an outbreak of the rodent-carried hantavirus at Yosemite National Park in 2012.

Several families sued the federal government and the companies that run guest services at the park in 2013 after an outbreak the prior year sickened 10 and caused at least three deaths among vacationers staying in “signature tent cabins” at what was then called Yosemite’s Curry Village.

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a lung disease that can be fatal. Deer mice carry the virus, which humans can contract through contact with their urine, droppings and saliva, by breathing in tiny airborne particles of dust or by being bitten, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Aside from the 2012 outbreak, only two other hantavirus cases have been linked to Yosemite – once in 2000, and once in 2010. Neither case was fatal, and both occurred in the High Sierra region at Tuolumne Meadows.

Defendant Delaware North, which ran the hotel, restaurant and visitor services in Yosemite, filed a cross-claim against the United States, saying that if it is held at fault for the plaintiffs’ injuries, “the U.S. bears all or part of that fault.”

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney said the case against the government hinges on whether it had a duty to perform regular inspections of what she called the “fancy tent cabins,” or what the lawyers called “STCs.”

The signature tent cabins are advertised on the park’s website as consisting of a wooden floor, frame and door and covered in canvas. They include cot-style beds, linens, propane heating and electricity, and cost about $80 a night. A non-heated cabin starts at $50.

The first signature tent cabins opened to guests in 2009.

Adam Bain with the U.S. Department of Justice said it wasn’t the park service’s job to actively check for mice, as it would have involved lifting the canvas off each tent. The government’s duty, he said, was to make sure the cabins’ doors and windows are sufficiently tight to exclude rodents and insects. He said it was Delaware North’s duty to thoroughly inspect the cabins.

“The best way to not find something is to not look,” argued plaintiffs’ attorney Khaldoun Baghdadi. “Even when the inspection is limited to the exterior and interior of the building the main purpose is to identify structural defects that allow rodents to enter the building.”

Bain countered, “The nesting mice between the cabin’s exterior and drywall interior – that is a place that’s really hidden from the inspector to be able to see that.”

Judge Chesney seemed somewhat unsympathetic to this argument. “But they didn’t just come in and look for snacks and get out,” she said. “They set up housekeeping. Built a little mouse hotel. You can’t launder your duty by sending it off to someone else.”

Turning to Delaware North, the plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that the company acted as the builder of the tents when they added the sheet of canvas to the wood frame, and are thus liable for any defects that allowed the mice to invade the cabins.

“They assumed the duties that come with the designer and manufacturer. They did the work,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Jim Collins. “All their revenues come from these tents. They put themselves in the place of the builder.”

Chesney was skeptical, saying she was inclined to rule in favor of Delaware North on the product liability claim.

“There is no question they knew there were plenty of mice and that the cabins were attracting them, but in terms of fully exposing them to a known high risk of hantavirus they may have known less about it than the government did,” she said.

Chesney also struggled with whether Delaware North knowingly and intentionally concealed the outbreak from vacationers.

At first, she thought the plaintiffs didn’t have a fraudulent concealment case at all, as traditional fraud requires proof that someone relied on a statement made by someone else. The plaintiffs claim Delaware North knew about the mice and the hantavirus risk, but chose not to tell vacationers out of fear that they would flee the camp and tell their friends not to rent the cabins, either.

“I have a lot of trouble with where this fraud claim is,” Chesney said. “Fraud requires some detrimental reliance. First you have to intend that someone is going to rely on it and do something. Here is the idea we won’t tell people about the health hazard so they will rent these tents. Where does this turn into traditional fraud- where there is some kind of encounter and somebody doesn’t tell someone something and that person does something?

“I’m trying to find out what exactly was supposed to be known and what exactly wasn’t told,” she added.

Collins said the company should have updated its policy to warn vacationers about potential health hazards. “They should have told them, ‘the STCs are nicer and more expensive, but we have had reports of mice inside the walls of the signature tents and that would increase the risk of hantavirus,’” Collins said.

“It’s not the strongest fraud case, okay,” Chesney said. “It doesn’t feel like a typical fraud case but it may fit into this one odd category of fraud cases.