The Ministry of Health announced on February 25 that 17 cases of the Hantavirus had been detected in Buenos Aires province since the beginning of the year. The two most recent cases were reported in Florencio Varela, located approximately 20 km (12 mi) south of the city of Buenos Aires. Health authorities have stated that while the case rate is high compared to the same period in 2017, there is currently no risk of an epidemic.
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 Buenos Aires 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.