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First US case of rat-sourced virus from the Andes reported

The first confirmed US case of Andes virus was reported at a Delaware hospital in January, a US ...

Posted: Oct 18, 2018 8:10 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 8:10 PM

The first confirmed US case of Andes virus was reported at a Delaware hospital in January, a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said Thursday.

The case study in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Report states that before the 29-year-old became sick, she went on a two-week trip to the Andes region of Argentina and Chile, where she "stayed in cabins and youth hostels in reportedly poor condition." More details were provided in a presentation at an ID Week conference in San Francisco this month, unrelated to the CDC report.

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She returned to the United States in January and developed fever, malaise and myalgias, or muscle pain.

After being hospitalized for five days, she recovered and was discharged.

Two cases of the virus have been reported in Switzerland, the report authors said. The CDC describes Andes virus as "a type of hantavirus [carried by some rats and mice] that is found in rodents in South America."

It notes that "early symptoms can look similar to the flu, and may include: headache, fever, muscle aches, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea," and can appear between four days and six weeks after exposure.

The CDC says the virus spreads when people encounter infected rodents and their droppings. The rats that carry Andes virus have not been found in the United States.

However, "no rodent exposures were reported" in the woman's case.

The virus is also the only hantavirus that can be transmitted from human to human, according to the report, although people are typically infectious only when displaying symptoms, the CDC said.

Because the woman had traveled on two commercial domestic flights while sick, the CDC, state and county health departments started an investigation to find anyone who came into contact with her.

Suspected cases were defined as the presence one or more symptoms "in a person with close contact with the patient within 42 days (the maximum incubation period) after last contact," including new-onset anorexia, chest pain, cough, diarrhea, fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting.

High-risk contact was when someone was exposed to the patient's bodily fluids, and low-risk contact was a person who was not exposed to bodily fluids but provided medical care or was near the patient on a flight for at least an hour.

Fifty-three contacts were identified across six states. Two were high-risk: a health care worker who had contact with the woman's sweat and a family member who had contact with her bedding and clothing. Neither showed symptoms of infection.

Of the low-risk contacts, 28 were health care personnel, 15 were airline contacts, and eight were other acquaintances. Although six of these contacts showed symptoms, none tested positive for the virus, the report says.

Presenters at the ID Week conference noted that the virus is "14x more likely to be transmitted via sexual contact than household contact."

Andes virus can also lead to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a fatal respiratory disease, the CDC says. Symptoms of this condition appear four to 10 days after initial symptoms and can include coughing, shortness of breath and fluid in the lungs. They can develop rapidly.

"There is no specific treatment, cure or vaccine" for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome the CDC said. "However, patients can receive supportive care in the hospital to help with Andes virus symptoms."

Anyone who is displaying these symptoms and has been exposed to South American rodents or had close contact with someone who is infected should see a physician immediately. The earlier the illness is treated, the better.

"Healthcare personnel should consider Andes virus in returning travelers with nonspecific febrile illness or acute respiratory disease whose travel history includes the Andes region of Argentina or Chile in the preceding 6 weeks," the report says.

To avoid the virus, the CDC suggests that people who travel to South America avoid areas that appear to be rat-infested and disinfect areas that have signs of rodents, if possible. If someone is infected with the virus, others should avoid being in close environments for prolonged periods, wash their hands frequently and avoid kissing or sexual contact.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 292811

Reported Deaths: 6613
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19515228
Hinds18611385
Harrison16431275
Rankin12543261
Jackson12419216
Lee9641160
Madison9378194
Jones7857145
Forrest7094136
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Panola424992
Warren4101113
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Marshall398392
Monroe3977126
Union392173
Neshoba3758166
Lincoln3447100
Hancock338673
Leflore3349118
Sunflower316685
Tate299874
Pike298293
Scott291867
Alcorn289660
Itawamba288571
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Tippah275465
Copiah273957
Coahoma272666
Simpson270778
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Wayne250540
Marion249878
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Newton223151
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Holmes181470
Clay177848
Stone171129
Tallahatchie169239
Clarke168271
Calhoun155527
Smith151531
Yalobusha142236
Greene126533
Walthall123340
Noxubee122629
Perry120934
Montgomery120537
Lawrence119021
Carroll117223
Amite110732
Webster109229
Jefferson Davis99931
Tunica98023
Claiborne97329
Benton92524
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Kemper89422
Quitman76614
Franklin75419
Choctaw69416
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61027
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 490220

Reported Deaths: 9744
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson704661342
Mobile35810721
Madison32203443
Tuscaloosa23961409
Montgomery22417489
Shelby21773211
Baldwin19635272
Lee14883147
Morgan13571248
Etowah13118312
Calhoun13090283
Marshall11212203
Houston10036257
Limestone9321133
Elmore9313179
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St. Clair8771220
Lauderdale8570210
DeKalb8419173
Talladega7450162
Walker6492249
Jackson6466102
Autauga617285
Blount6072125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5229100
Dale4614106
Russell401431
Franklin397675
Covington3948105
Chilton383196
Escambia376670
Tallapoosa3559139
Clarke342749
Dallas3396140
Chambers3393103
Pike292771
Lawrence281284
Marion280793
Winston245665
Bibb243759
Marengo238554
Geneva238468
Pickens223554
Barbour209550
Hale208464
Fayette199356
Butler195165
Henry182341
Cherokee176338
Monroe165638
Randolph162740
Washington156233
Crenshaw143353
Clay143254
Macon140543
Cleburne136539
Lamar131632
Lowndes130148
Wilcox120825
Bullock116534
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98231
Coosa86823
Greene86732
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