Even as the deadly COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the planet and its economy, China is seemingly witnessing the resurgence of another virus that comes from rodents that reside within the dark underbelly of our world.
On Tuesday, Global Times tweeted that an individual 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 tweet went viral on various social media platforms, with people saying that China needs to calm down now!
"I think am ready to move to another planet. Honestly," tweeted one user.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) may be a severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory illness in humans caused by infection with hantaviruses.
Early symptoms of the rodent virus include fever, fatigue, and muscle aches, especially in thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders.
Apart from this, an infected person may also experience headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems.
According to the middle for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hantaviruses are a family of viruses spread mainly by rodents and may cause varied disease syndromes in people worldwide.
Infection with any hantavirus can produce hantavirus disease in people.
Hantaviruses in Americans are referred to as "New World" hantaviruses and should cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Other hantaviruses, referred to as "Old World" hantaviruses, are found mostly in Europe and Asia and should cause haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).
Each hantavirus serotype features a specific rodent host species and is spread to people via an aerosolized virus that is shed in urine, feces, and saliva, and fewer frequently by a bite from an infected host.
Anyone who comes into contact with rodents that carry hantaviruses is in danger of HPS. Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the first risk for hantavirus exposure. Even healthy individuals are in danger of HPS infection if exposed to the virus.
In Chile and Argentina, rare cases of person-to-person transmission have occurred among close contacts of an individual who was ill with a kind of hantavirus called Andes virus, consistent with the CDC.
However, not all were impressed by the news.
"Hanta virus has been around since the 1970s. Human-to-human spread is possible, but very rare. Let's not add fuel to the flame," tweeted one user on Global Times' Twitter handle.