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Hantavirus symptoms and treatment of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) are something that all health professionals should be aware of, but everyone can benefit from understanding how to recognize and treat this deadly rodent-borne lung virus. Thanks to comprehensive public health standards and vigorous monitoring, outbreaks in the U.S. have been limited to the Southwest region, where most instances are reported.

What is Hantavirus

Hantavirus is a lung virus that advances quickly, and is commonly diagnosed as adult respiratory distress syndrome and may be deadly in almost half of those diagnosed.

Hantavirus was initially discovered as the cause of hemorrhagic fever tied with kidney disease in armed service recruits in the Korean War. Since that time, 14 variations have been identified with 4 known to cause hemorrhagic fever with kidney disease and 10 resulting in HPS. Of the latter, a minimum of 5 are resident in the U.S.

Globally, up to 200,000 individuals become hospitalized for hantavirus, and the deadly lung virus kills nearly 50% of the 238 instances documented the U.S.A. every year, even with proper medical treatment.

Hantavirus Symptoms

The common path for Hantavirus infection is through the respiratory tract. An individual may inhale dust and debris which contains particles from the urine, saliva, or feces of an infected rat or mouse. The chance of getting HPS grows when, by brooming, brushing or kicking up the particles, an individual disrupts the area containing rodent droppings.

From initial contact to medical illness runs from a few days to 6 weeks. Usually, it occurs within 2 weeks.

Individuals diagnosed with Hantavirus pulminary syndrome symptoms usually go to a medical clinic or Emergency Room with symptoms resembling flu; and many are offered GI viral syndrome diagnosis and then go home. After 24 to 48 hours, they show worsening symptoms with difficulty breathing or dehydration from vomiting and fever.

Particularly notable in Hantavirus symptoms are the lacking indications and symptoms of arthritis and similar ailments. Those indicators generally mean other viral and bacterial illnesses.

Due to hantavirus progressing quickly, an accurate diagnosis is crucial. The majority of fatalities happen in the first day in hospital, through the cardiopulmonary stage of illness.

Think about the potential for hanta virus pulminary syndrome in individuals with fever and recent contact with rodents or their urine or feces.

Hantavirus Symptoms Short List:
Initial Phase

  • flulike symptoms lasting 3 to 10 days and referred to as “worst flu of my life”
  • fever, severe myalgias, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain as the lung virus grows

Second Phase

  • death normally occurs in this stage
  • severe cough and excess fluid in the lungs resulting in shortness of breath for the last 48 hours
  • mechanical ventilation during this phase and close monitoring is critical for survival

Third Phase

  • starting recovery usually lasts for 2 or 3 days
  • resorbing of fuids from lungs results in excessive urination

Fourth Phase

  • final recovery usually lasts for 1 week while the patient is at home

Hantavirus Treatment

hantavirus infections by stateHanta virus pulminary syndrome must be treated immediately after diagnosis to improve the chance of survival. Fewer than half of those diagnosed with Hanta virus pulminary syndrome survive this deadly disease. Here are some tips for successful initial treatment of hantavirus, to be started immediately after diagnosis.

  • Treatment within the intensive care center of hospital or medical center
  • Monitoring of breathing and lung capacity
  • Pulmonary artery stress tests
  • Initiation of mechanical air flow when the individual becomes unresponsive to additional oxygen treatment
  • Monitoring of blood pressure level.

Some individuals don’t improve even after receiving these treatments. In one documented case, increased oxygen treatments proved helpful in reversing the effects of hantavirus pulminary syndrome.

2 Responses to Hantavirus Symptoms and Treatment

  • Tim Brier says:

    Is it possible for middle-school aged children exposed to SNV seropositive deer mice to experience diarrhea and nausea within 5-7 days of exposure? Would it also be possible that none of the children who exhibited these symptoms developed any further symptoms of Hantavirus?
    Thank You.

    • DeadlyMicrobes says:

      I would expect symptoms to include nausea but not diarrhea. Having initial symptoms in 5-7 timeframe is certainly possible. If the symptoms stop shortly after the 5-7 day period it would seem that a different viral infection should be considered.

      Please have the children checked by a physician.

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