HPS

1 What is Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome?

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a very infectious disease and is accompanied by flu-like symptoms that gradually progress and can be fatal breathing conditions.

Hantavirus Pulmonary syndrome can be caused by various kinds of hantaviruses. Hantaviruses are carried by particular kinds of rodents such as deer mice.

One get the infection by breathing air with the virus in it that are shed in rodent uring or droppings.

Treatment options are widely limited and because of this, the best preventive method against hintavirus pulmonary syndrome is to avoid the virus carriers and their habitat.

2 Symptoms

Symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome may vary depending on its stage.

There are two particular stages of advancement of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

The first stage is characterized by flu-like symptoms,

  • fevers,
  • chills,
  • muscle aches,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhoea,
  • or abdominal pain.

In its early stages, hintavirus infection is not esily distinguished from influenza, pneumonia or basically other viral conditions.

More serious signs and symptoms begen after 4 to 10 days. These symptoms are as follows:

  • secretion-producing coughs,
  • a shortness of breath,
  • an accumulation of fluid in the lungs,
  • low blood pressure,
  • reduced  heart effeciency.

The sings and symptoms of hintavirus pulmonary syndrome gradually worsen to the point of becoming life-threatening.

If one has been around rodents or their droppings and urine and shows signs of fever, chills, muscle ache sor any other complications breathing, should immediately seek medical assistance.

Have a question aboutHantavirus Infections?Ask a doctor now

3 Causes

Hantavirus Pulmonary syndrome can be caused by various kinds of hantaviruses.

Every particular kind of hintavirus has its preferred carrier.

But most cases in North America are in relation to the carrier known as the deer mouse. Other hantavirus carriers include the white-tailed mouse, cotton rat and rice rat.

Inhalation is the main mode of transmission of the hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is through the aerosolization of viruses shed in infected rodent droppings, urine and even saliva.

Aerosolization occurs when a virus is kicked up into the air making it easy to be inhaled. An example is a broom used to clean up mouse droppings in any area may nudge tiny particles of faeces in the air containing hantaviruses which can be further inhaled.

The hantaviruses, after inhalation, go to the lungs where the begin to invade the tiny blood vessels called capillaries which eventually causes them to leak. The lungs are further filled with fluid which can later trigger a lot if respiratory complications.

4 Making a Diagnosis

If you have sign and symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome you must visit your family physician to receive a diagnosis. Doctors will usually recommend certain type of medication during the period of the appointment.

It is very crucial to seek medical attention in emergency situations such as having difficulty breathing.

Before every appointment, one is encouraged to take the following steps: Writing answers to the following questions:

  • What symptoms are you experiencing?
  • When did the pain begin?
  • Have you had any exposure to mice or rats?
  • Do you have any other medical condition you know about?
  • What medications and supplementsdo ou usaully take?

The doctor is likely to ask the following question whish must be greatly anticipated. Being ready to answer them is a good time saver to reserve time to spend more on particular points of emphasis.

Doctors questions include:

  • Have you experienced flu-like discomfort such as fever, muscle aches and fatigue?
  • Have you experienced any gastrointestinal complications such as diarrhoea or regurgitation?
  • Have you notice your heart beating faster than noermal?
  • It is very important to have answers to these questions prepared before any appointment with a doctor.

5 Treatment

There are limited treatment options for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Prognosis readily improves with early identification, immediate admission to a hospital and  and adequate support for breathing.

Individuals with severe case of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome require immediate treatment in an Intensive Care Unit. Assisted respiration should be administered.

This can be accomplished either through incubation or mechanical ventilation as these can help with breathing and warding off edema.

Incubation is a process that requires a tube to be placed one one's nose, mouth or trachea to help keep the airways open and functional. In extremely severe cases of pulmonary complication, one may need a procedure called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation performed.

This method  ensures one can retain a sufficient supply of oxygen. This procedure involves the continuous pumping of one's blood through a machine that is specifically created to remove carbon dioxide and add oxygen. Oxygenated blood is later returned back to the body.

6 Prevention

Preventive measures for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome can be taken to avoid the infection in the first place. As hantavirus is carried by rodents, it is a step in the right direction to prevent these rodent from invading any living or working space.

By sealing many holes with wire screening, metal flashing or cement, one can prevent an entrance of small rodents such as mice. It is very crucial to close the foodbuffet. Washing dishes thoroughly, cleaning counters and floors and storing food supplies including that of pets in rodent proof areas.

Using tight fitting lids on garbage cans and reducing any nessting material. Clearing any overgrown brush around a building can also be done to scare away rodents. Setting traps that can slow down the population of the carriers. Spring-loaded traps can be set along baseboards.

It is always important to keep in mind that caution must be exercised during the handling of of poison-bait traps, the poison used can not only harm the unwanted rodents but also people and their pets. It is very wise to take risk-free cleaning procedures.

Always wet down areas where rodents have been with  alcohol, household disinfectant or bleach. This procedure eradicates the virus an prevents any dust from being stirred up in air. Once the everything is wet, a damp towel can be used to pick up the contaminated material. A further action of moping the area can be done to further reduce the contamination.

7 Risks and Complications

There are several risks associated with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is more prevalent in the rural areas of the western United States of America during the spring and summer months. It also occurs in some areas of South America and Canada.

Other forms occur in areas of Asia. The forms in Asia are specialized in producing kidney dysfunction rather than the lung related problems.

The chances of developing hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is greater for people who work, live or play in rodent infested areas. Certain factors play an important role in increasing the risk of developing this condition: Accessing old and unused buildings or sheds.

Housecleaning in areas of a house such as an attic or other low-traffic areas. Living or working in a space infested with rodents. Certain jobs such as construction, utility work and pest control have contact exposure to rodents and increase the risks of infection.

Outdoor activities like hunting and camping will also increase the risks. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome can easily become fatal. As lungs get filled with fluid, breathing gradually becomes difficult to do, blood pressure falls and several organs begin to fail, with prime emphasis on the heart.

Top