In the summer of 2012, exposure to hantavirus in Yosemite National Park created illness in over 20 people, and fatality in 3 of those people. A confirmed case of hantavirus was also found in Houston, Texas.
Hantavirus began causing illness in the United States in 1993. Since then, cases of hantavirus have been found to be extremely rare – only three or four hundred cases – but the serious and sometimes fatal respiratory complications this illness can cause are very dangerous. In the light of this recent outbreak that has spread to potentially 22,000 people in Yosemite, it is extremely important that every person knows the risks of hantavirus.
Hantavirus is a virus that causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. This is a disease that can cause symptoms similar to the flu, and may continue its devastating path through the human body and create fatal breathing issues.
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome can be caused by many different strains of hantavirus. Currently, there are over 20 different strains of hantavirus. Each strain may be carried by different types of rodents. The hantavirus strain that is widespread in the United States is most commonly carried by the deer mouse.
People are exposed to hantavirus by inhaling bacteria particles found in rodents. Most commonly, those particles are airborne due to dried deer mouse urine and feces.
There has not yet been a discovered treatment for hantavirus. Because of this reason, it is important that people practice the different prevention methods to avoid being exposed to hantavirus.
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by Sydney Thompson
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by on October 21, 2016
- Ellipsis Books, September 2012
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