Hantavirus Death in China Now Has Twitter Freaking Out

The virus is spread mainly through a rodent’s urine, feces, or saliva.

The news of a death in China from a disease other than COVID-19 has caused fear of another pandemic on social media.

A man reportedly died from hantavirus on Monday after testing positive for the disease, according to China’s state-run newspaper Global Times.

The victim was traveling on a bus from Yunnan Province to Shandong Province with 32 other people. Those on board have allegedly been tested as well, and the outcomes have yet to be reported.

However, the virus is rarely passed from human to human.

Per the Center for Disease Control, the family of hantaviruses spread mainly by rodents, causing a variety of complications such as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.

The disease is contracted after a person comes in contact with the animal’s urine, feces or saliva. Virus particles can travel through the air and infect a person. Experts believe it is possible to catch the virus if a person touches their eyes, nose or mouth after handling a surface contaminated with the virus particles.

There have been rare instances of human-to-human transmission in Chile and Argentina, according to the CDC website.

The symptoms are similar to COVID-19 as they include fever, abdominal pain and headache. After the first four to 10 days of the infection, a victim may suffer shortness of breath, coughing, and fluid in their lungs. Those who develop hantavirus pulmonary syndrome have a 38% of dying from it.

News of the man’s death comes amid the coronavirus crisis– which has already killed over 18,000 people globally — and Twitter blew up with fears of a new pandemic, as #hantavirus began trending.

“What the hell is going on. 1 death in china due to HantaVirus Just stay safe,” wrote a concerned Twitter user, as another posted, “Lord have mercy on us.”

Many Twitter users implored people to stop posting “fake news” as one shared, “The #Hantavirus is trending now.. please don’t spread any news if you don’t know if it’s true. People will panic about it and will make up nonsense. Please just stay f–king home for your own good and try to prevent it by washing your hands regularly. Please.”

A good majority, however, took to their social media to crack jokes about a possible lethal virus outbreak coming on the heels of another lethal virus. Read some of those tweets below.

[via TooFab]

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