Health officials have announced that at least 21 cases of Hantavirus have been reported in recent weeks in Salta province (northwest) as of Monday, May 21. According to local sources, at least seven fatalities have been confirmed. The most affected areas include Oran, Tartagal, Pichanal, Colonia Santa Rosa, Apolinario Saravia, and Irigoyen.
Hantavirus is spread via the urine, saliva, and feces of infected rodents (notably long-tailed mice in this case) and is contracted via contact with contaminated surfaces or via inhalation of contaminated air. The most common symptoms of the virus are similar to those of influenza: fever, muscle aches, headache and fatigue. Other possible symptoms include dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Hantavirus is fatal in roughly one-third of cases.
Those present in Salta province should avoid exposure to areas where rodents may be present (e.g. barns or garbage dumps). Individuals exhibiting the aforementioned symptoms are advised to seek medical treatment immediately. Make sure to mention to medical professional whether or not you have had exposure to rodent-infested areas. There is no cure for Hantavirus; however, the sooner an infected person receives medical attention, the better.