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Published On: Wed, Jan 22nd, 2014

Panama: Second case of hantavirus confirmed in Azuero Peninsula

With the Panamanian Carnival, one of the largest in the world, right around the corner, health officials in Herrera province are reporting the second confirmed case of hantavirus in Azuero Peninsula, according to a TVN noticias report this weekend (computer translated).

hantavirus, Peromyscus maniculatus

Peromyscus maniculatus Image/CDC

The patient, a 62-year-old from the town of Tonosi, in the province of  Los Santos, was admitted to the emergency room at the Hospital Cecilio Castillero Chitre and later transferred to  the Santo Tomas hospital in the capital city to better care.

There is no word on the condition of the individual.

Hantavirus is a potentially life-threatening disease spread to humans by rodents that has symptoms similar to influenza.

Rodents, especially deer mice, carry Hantavirus. The virus is found in their urine and feces, but it does not make the animal sick.

It is believed that humans can get sick with this virus if they come in contact with contaminated dust from mice nests or droppings. You may come in contact with the dust when cleaning homes, sheds, or other enclosed areas that have been empty for a long time.

Hantavirus does not spread between humans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) divides the symptoms of hantavirus between “early” and “late” symptoms.

Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in the large muscle groups—thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. These symptoms are universal.

There may also be headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. About half of all HPS patients experience these symptoms.

Four to 10 days after the initial phase of illness, the late symptoms of HPS appear. These include coughing and shortness of breath, with the sensation of, as one survivor put it, a “…tight band around my chest and a pillow over my face” as the lungs fill with fluid.

HPS has a mortality rate of 38% according to the agency.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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