Hantavirus Geographically Spreading Potentially Endangering the Lives of More Americans
Historically, hantavirus appeared to be a pathogen that was confined to a fairly precise geographic area in the United States. Additionally, the virus appeared to be carried by the deer mouse in the United States, although there was evidence that other rodents carried the disease in different countries. In addition, researchers have long believed that it was conceivable that any type of rodent, particularly any type of mouse or rat, could carry hantavirus. All of that changed at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. As a result, people from all walks of life need to be more vigilant when it comes to the risk of contracting the hantavirus in their homes, at restaurants, and at other public venues.
Hantavirus has the very real potential for being one of the most devastating infectious diseases to strike the United States and other countries the world over in many years. With that said, it is important to note that we’ve not come anywhere near the point where hantavirus has become a major health issue. Nonetheless, we are at a juncture at which the virus is proving to be more of a danger today than it was even several months ago. Moreover, people need to understand the health consequences of hantavirus infection. In addition, people must understand their legal rights if they or a loved one contract hantavirus at a restaurant or some other public venue.
Hantavirus and How is It Spread
There are some important reasons why hantavirus is particularly dangerous. Like salmonella bacteria, hantavirus is spread through rodent droppings. In the United States, people rather frequently contract a Salmonella infection from food and beverages in restaurants and other locations contaminated with rodent droppings and other types of feces.
A salmonella infection oftentimes is called “food poisoning.” A person infected by salmonella bacteria will have some unpleasant symptoms, but a person rarely becomes terribly sick because of salmonella poisoning and it is even rarer still that an individual dies from such an infection. The same cannot be said about a person who contracts hantavirus.
Hantavirus has the potential for spreading far easier than salmonella. Salmonella is never airborne. Hantavirus can survive in dried rodent droppings. Dried rodent droppings crumble very easily. The dust from rodent droppings readily becomes airborne, carrying hantavirus along with it. Thus, a person can inhale hantavirus and become infected.
If rodent droppings containing hantavirus crumble and become airborne in a location like a restaurant or other public space, the dust and virus can end up in the HVAC system and get spread throughout a building. In theory, multiple people could rapidly become infected.
Understanding Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
This virus can be deadly. An infected person can end up afflicted with what is known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a hemorrhagic condition. What this means is that it causes what can prove to be uncontrollable bleeding in the lungs.
33 percent of people who are diagnosed with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome will die. There is no specific cure or treatment for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. People who do rebound from this condition are said to do so spontaneously.
Moreover, when this condition occurs people typically aren’t diagnosed in a timely manner. The early symptoms mimic the flu. If a person is diagnosed with this syndrome, they are placed in an intensive care unit and intubated (or put on oxygen). This lessens the physical and emotional stress associated with the condition which is thought to at least somewhat improve a person’s chance of recovery.
Infectious Disease and Your Legal Rights
Although not a crisis by any means at this time, the day is coming when people in the United States will contract hantavirus pulmonary syndrome by exposure to airborne rodent dropping dust containing this virus. Odds are that a restaurant or other business establishment where this occurs will claim that its owner or management reasonably couldn’t have known of the possibility that patrons could contract this potentially fatal illness by merely breathing.
A person who contracts this virus, or another type of infectious disease, at a business establishment, needs to a tenacious, experienced personal injury lawyer like a member of the legal team at The Doan Law Firm at his or her side. You can consult with a Doan Law Firm personal injury lawyer by calling (800) 349-0000 any time of the day or night. There is no charge for an initial obligation with a personal injury lawyer from the firm.
The Doan Law Firm, nationwide law practice, makes a personal injury attorney fee promise to you. We charge no fee unless we win for you.