A few days ago, a Global Times publication reported information about the death of a man in China from a deadly virus called Hantavirus. In the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, people were desperate thinking it was a new epidemic that had started and quickly became the most talked about topic on Twitter.
Online newspapers from around the world reported what happened, but few made it clear that it was not a new epidemic at its beginning. [Misterioso vírus descoberto em Minas Gerais é diferente de qualquer outro]
The hantavirus is a virus found in the urine, saliva or feces of infected mice and in some other wild rodents. He is responsible for Hantavirus Cardiopulmonary Syndrome, a rare but serious lung disease.
According to the Ministry of Health, people can be infected with hantavirus. Community transmission is not characteristic of it, but care must be taken with the basic sanitation of communities so that the virus cannot spread.
No need to panic
Cases of transmission of hantavirus from person to person are extremely rare, the infection has been known since the 1950s and vaccines to control the virus have already been developed. [Vírus da gripe comum foi capaz de eliminar o câncer de bexiga em um paciente]
Some websites have quoted the words of the director of infection prevention and control at the University of Alberta, Stephanie Smith. She called the hyped news about the hantavirus “hysteria”, emphasizing that the virus has been known for a long time. So there is no reason to boast.
The famous English-language fact-checking website Snoopes.com emphasized that “hantavirus is not a new disease and is not transmitted between people. Therefore, no one should be afraid of any disease outbreak caused by this virus ”.
After seeing that the news had repercussions, the Global Times cited the opinion of Chinese virologist Yang Zhanqiu, from Wuhan University in China.
“There is no need to worry about the hantavirus. This disease is preventable and controlled, there are vaccines. The hantavirus is not common in urban areas. The disease occurs mainly in rural areas when people encounter rodents during fieldwork, ”he explained using China as a context.