As the world grapples with the deadly coronavirus, which has killed more than 14,000 and infected over 3.5 lakh globally, another deadly virus has surfaced in China. The virus, named 'hantavirus', has already killed one person in the Chinese province of Yunnan. According to reports, the man died hours after being detected positive for the hantavirus. The 32 other people on the bus were also tested for the virus. The reports of another deadly virus in China have triggered panic in the area.

Hantavirus spreads from rodents and causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in humans.Reuters

According to the state-run Chinese English daily Global Times, a person from Yunnan Province died while he was returning from work. Soon after the Global Times reported the case, the news went viral and hantavirus started trending on Twitter.

Global Times wrote on Twitter today, "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."

What is hantavirus?

According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), hantavirus spreads from rodents and causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in humans. The CDC said that rodent infestation in homes remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure, and unlike coronavirus, even healthy adults are at the risk of the HPS.

Early symptoms of HPS include fatigue, fever, and muscle aches, along with headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems. If it is not treated in time, it can lead to coughing and shortness of breath and can be fatal. The CDC states that its mortality rate is as high as 38 percent.

While the initial symptoms of HFRS too remain the same, it can cause low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute kidney failure.

Although people are calling it a new virus, it isn't. "Hantavirus" was introduced in the Bunyaviridae family, which included the viruses that cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), in 1981. In 1978, a Korean Hemerologic fever was isolated from a small infected field rodent near Hantan river in South Korea. The virus was named after the Hantan river.

It should be noted that hantavirus is not new and has been infecting the human race for decades.

"Hantaviruses in the Americas are known as "New World" hantaviruses and may cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Other hantaviruses, known as "Old World" hantaviruses, are found mostly in Europe and Asia and may cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)," the CDC website said.