According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hantaviruses are a family of viruses which are spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied diseases in people.

It can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). The disease is not airborne and can only spread to people if they come in contact with urine, feces, and saliva of rodents and less frequently by a bite from an infected host.

Global Times, a state-run English-language newspaper, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, “A person from Yunnan Province died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus on Monday. He was tested positive for hantavirus. Other 32 people on bus were tested


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Some people are calling it a new virus but so is not the case. United States’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in a journal writes that currently, the hantavirus genus includes more than 21 species.

In 1978, a causative agent Korean Hemerologic fever was isolated from small infected field rodent near Hantan river in South Korea. The virus was named as Hantaan virus, after the name of the river Hantan. This initial discovery dates back to scientific approaches that were initiated after the Korean war (1951-1953), during which more than 3,000 cases of Korean hemorrhagic fever were reported among United Nations (UN) troops.

In 1981, a new genus termed as “hantavirus” was introduced in the Bunyaviridae family, which included the viruses that cause hemoroligic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).


If people get HPS, they will feel sick one to five weeks after they were around mice or rats that carried a hantavirus.

At first people with HPS will have:

Severe muscle aches

After a few days they will have a hard time breathing. Sometimes people will have headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Usually, people do not have a runny nose, sore throat, or a rash.