Are coronavirus and hantavirus the same thing? Here's an explainer

On Monday, a Chinese man died of hantavirus, Global Times reported. Hantavirus is a disease that affects both the pulmonary region, as well as the kidneys in the long run, medical experts have said. However, in an era where the coronavirus pandemic has created fear in the world, this case of hantavirus originating in China has resulted in the virus become one of the most searched trends on Twitter.

But how do you contract the hantavirus? It’s not transmitted from human to human, but more from rodents carrying the virus with humans. To put things in perspective, a human that comes in contact with the faeces or urine of a rodent carrying the virus is likely to contract the disease even if s/he is a perfectly healthy individual.

However, the symptoms are almost similar to coronavirus. Some of the symptoms includes fever, headache, muscle ache, abdominal pain, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea. About half of all HPS patients experience these symptoms. Late symptoms include lungs fill with fluid and shortness of breath.

However, the novel coronavirus and hantavirus are totally different, as coronavirus, as this New York Magazine article, explains is transmitted from one human to the other. The base of the virus is similar to a protein present in the lungs, which makes it easy for the virus to attach itself to the host thereby infecting the individual. There are also cases of animal to human infection, as well as human to animal infection. Studies suggest that humans contracted the virus from bats in China, while two dogs have been tested positive for coronavirus after interacting with humans, it was reported.

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