Health officials in the La Araucanía region reported the first case of hantavirus in Chile since the beginning of the year. The case was confirmed in a rural area of the Victoria district. The victim was hospitalized on January 19, and is reportedly in good health and recovering. Officials are urging the population to take precautionary measures against hantavirus to prevent further transmission.
Hantavirus is spread via the urine, saliva, and feces of infected rodents 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, and fatigue. Other possible symptoms include headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Hantavirus is fatal in roughly one third of cases.
Those present in Chile should avoid exposure to potentially rodent-infested areas. Individuals exhibiting the aforementioned symptoms are advised to seek immediate medical treatment.