TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) on April 3 announced this year’s first case of hantavirus hemorrhagic fever in a 44-year-old male who resides in northern Taiwan and works in the food and beverage industry.
On March 9, the case developed symptoms, including fever and dizziness, according to Taiwan CDC. The case’s primary areas of daily activities include places around his work place, residence and the nearby mountain, Taiwan CDC said, adding that he had not recently traveled domestically and internationally. None of the family members residing in the same household with the case has developed suspected symptoms, the agency added.
According to the surveillance statistics compiled by Taiwan CDC, each year a few cases of hantavirus infection are confirmed. Since 2008, a total of 12 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 agency said. 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, Taiwan CDC said.
As rodent control in and around the home remains the most effective prevention strategy against hantavirus infection, Taiwan CDC urges the public to create a mouse-free environment by adhering to the three “Don’ts”: “Don’t let rodents enter. Don’t let rodents stay. Don’t let rodents eat your food.”
Taiwan CDC urges restaurants, hotels, eateries, markets, food factories and households to maintain good environmental hygiene and carry out deratting measures when necessary.
Individuals should avoid contact with rodent droppings, urine, saliva, and nesting materials, the agency said, adding that closed storage sheds and cabins are often ideal sites for rodent infestations.
While cleaning up rodent droppings and urine, wear a mask, put on gloves, keep the doors and windows open, spray the droppings and urine with a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach (100 cc) and water (10 liters) and let the excreta soak in the disinfectant or bleach solution for 30 minutes before disposing of the waste in the garbage, the agency said.