A 57-year-old male who resides in southern Taiwan has been diagnosed with hantavirus hemorrhagic fever, according to the Taiwan CDC. The patient was hospitalized for his illness and since discharged.
This has prompted health officials to remind the public to check inside and outside the house for gaps or holes that allow rodents from entering the home and remove the food sources as well as items that provide shelter for rodents.
None of the family members residing in the same household with the case has developed suspected symptoms.
Since 2008, a total of 11 cases of hantavirus hemorrhagic fever have been confirmed.
Hantavirus hemorrhagic fever is a zoonosis caused by hantaviruses. Rodents are the natural reservoir for hantaviruses and the virus is transmitted from infected rodents to humans by inhalation of aerosolized particles from rodent excreta or a bite from infected rodents. The incubation period ranges from a couple of days to two months. The virus does not spread between humans.
Symptoms usually include persistent fever, inflammation or redness of the eyes, fatigue, lower back pain, abdominal pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, flushing of the face, varying degrees of hemorrhagic manifestations and kidney involvement. Hemorrhaging usually occurs approximately 3 to 6 days after symptom onset.
Later symptoms can include proteinuria, low blood pressure or oliguria. Some patients may experience acute shock and mild kidney disease that could lead to acute kidney failure. Symptoms can be improved upon treatment.
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