Hanta virus is now spreading in Hessen
After more people were infected with the Hanta virus in Baden-Württemberg this year than ever before, the infectious disease transmitted by rodents is also spreading in Hesse. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported on Thursday. So far, 97 cases have been reported. In the past year only 13 diseases were registered in Hessen.
Hanta virus is particularly common in rural areas of Hesse
While the number of Hanta virus infections was comparatively small in Hesse last year, a new wave of infections now seems to be rampant, especially in the rural regions of the federal state. However, the infectious disease in Hesse does not reach the same dimensions as in Baden-Württemberg. Up to 134 new cases were registered there weekly from late April to mid-May. As the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) Hessen announced, there was already an outbreak year in 2010 with more cases than usual. At that time, 174 Hanta virus infections were reported.
Hanta viruses are transmitted by vole mice through their faeces, urine and saliva. “Humans become infected when contaminated dust is whirled up and inhaled. However, there is no transmission from person to person, "says Dr. Helga Christoffel, a doctor at the TK Hessen. This year, the red vole population is remarkably strong, as the main source of food for red mice, beech nuts, was particularly abundant last autumn Accordingly, areas with many beech forests are particularly affected by Hanta virus infections.
"In most cases, the disease is very mild, sometimes even unnoticed," explains Christoffels. Only in rare cases is there reduced urine output (oliguria) with "arterial hypertension", which can result in failure of one or both kidneys. Pulmonary edema is also very rare. (Ag)
Hantavirus infections in Baden-Württemberg
Increase in hantavirus infections
Spread of Hantaviruses
Image: Peter Freitag / pixelio.de