Hantaviruses are a well-known family of viruses that spread to humans through close contact with infected rodents. The most common type of hantavirus in the US is called the “Sin Nombre Virus”, which is Spanish for the “Nameless Virus”. This virus is known to cause very serious health problems such as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (outside the US).
The virus is normally transmitted to humans from contaminated rodents (including pet mice). Humans can become infected by coming in contact with the rodents and/or their wastes. Human to human infection is very unlikely. HPS is a life-threatening condition, with a mortality rate that may be as high as 50%.1David J Cennimo, M. (2020, March 22). Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/236425-overview
Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with a hantavirus infection, with a small emphasis on the life-threatening condition known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS):
A fever is an increase in body temperature. Usually, the temperature should be above 38⁰C (100.4⁰F) in order to be considered as a fever, but this depends on the site where the temperature is being measured. A fever is usually a response of the body to a threat. By increasing the body’s thermostat set point, we start to shiver to generate heat in order to reach the new temperature that has been set.
This is the most common symptom associated with a viral infection. Therefore, it is very common for patients infected with hantavirus to experience it. It usually appears in the early stage of the disease known as the prodromal phase and it tends to last less than a week.