Suspicious virus death in China raises new concerns

BEIJING, 25 March 2020:

As the coronavirus pandemic slows down in China, one person has died in the country from hantavirus – another infectious disease, local media as reporting yesterday.

Chinese daily The Global Times said a person from southwestern Yunnan province passed away after contracting the virus.

“A person from Yunnan Province died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus on Monday,” the newspaper tweeted.

It added that 32 fellow passengers on the bus had also been tested. Information on their test results was not provided.

The viral disease was first reported in the US in 1993. It is transmitted to humans by rodents such as mice and rats.

No human-to-human transmission of this virus has been found except for Argentina in 1996 when it was suggested that “strains of hantaviruses in South America may be transmissible from person to person,” according to US-based centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

The development comes at a time when the world is battling coronavirus, also known as Covid-19.

Unlike coronavirus, whose symptoms include cough, fever and breathing difficulties, hantavirus in the body leads to fatigue and muscle aches, as well as headaches.

– Bernama