TAIPEI–The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported Thursday the year’s first case of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) caused by hantavirus and urged the public to avoid exposure to rodents, which are carriers of the virus.
“The 63-year-old pig farmer from Kaohsiung has been discharged from the hospital following treatment,” said CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw.
“Although the infection was likely caused by rodent bites, further laboratory tests are needed for confirmation,” he said.
The patient began displaying symptoms of fever, vomiting, stomach pain, muscle soreness and shortage of breath June 18, one month after being bitten on the toes by a rodent, according to a press statement released by the CDC.
Blood test results obtained July 11 confirmed that the man was infected with the hantavirus, which caused HFRS, it said.
With a hantavirus mortality rate of as high as 10 percent, Chou urged those active in areas where rodents are present to take extra precautions to protect themselves from the disease.
Previous studies have concluded that individuals residing or working in wet markets tend to be in the high-risk group, he added.
People usually get infected through exposure to the urine and droppings of infected rodents or after exposure to dust, which can also carry the virus. Human-to-human transmission is rare.