NewsDesk @bactiman63

Paraguay health officials report nine cases and three deaths have been confirmed due to hantavirus year to date. All of them registered in the three departments of the Paraguayan Chaco

So far in 2023, at the country level, a total of 88 notifications of suspected hantavirus have been registered, of which 43 were ruled out, 9 were confirmed and 41 cases remain suspected of this disease.

Image/Robert Herriman

According to the probable place of contagion, five cases correspond to the department of Boquerón, one to Alto Paraguay and three to Presidente Hayes. In total, three deaths have been recorded due to this cause.

It is important to mention that hantavirus is an endemic disease in the Chaco area, that is, cases occur throughout the year, and notifications increase during times of greater drought and opening of silos. 

Hantavirus is a disease transmitted by rodents, including mice and rats, and is not spread from person to person. Symptoms include fever, myalgia, and gastrointestinal complaints, followed by a sudden onset of respiratory distress.

The incubation period ranges from a few days to six weeks after exposure. Infected people may experience headache, dizziness, chills, fever, and myalgia. They may also experience gastrointestinal symptoms: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, followed by a sudden onset of respiratory distress and hypotension.

Teams from the Chaco Health Regions of the Ministry of Health carry out frequent interventions to promote health and care in the community, especially among the population of silo workers. The recommendation is to use protective masks in these places and in warehouses where animal food is stored for a long time. Likewise, it is important to ventilate and keep closed environments clean, moisten the floor before cleaning, in order to avoid inhaling virus particles that can spread through dust; Avoid contact with small mice and their burrows, and do not disturb their shelters.