SANTIAGO – The Seremi de Salud de Los Lagos has confirmed this year’s first case of infection by hantavirus in the Chilean region.
The patient, a female employee of the Health Service of Chile, was taken to Santiago after it was confirmed that she had been infected with the virus in Epuyén, Argentina, which is located four hours from Palena.
The woman resides in the city of Palena, in the Los Lagos Region, and remains hospitalized in the Puerto Montt Hospital since Saturday.
“During the dawn of today we were informed of the hanta virus information of the patient from the province of Palena, who underwent the blood test that was evaluated at the Universidad de Católica de Chile, which is a certified center for the realization of this type of exams and it sent the confirmation of the case of hanta virus,” informed Marcela Cárdenas, a health officer in Los Lagos.
Hantavirus is spread via the urine, saliva, and feces of infected rodents 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, and fatigue.
Other possible symptoms include headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Hantavirus is fatal in roughly one third of cases.
Those present in Chile should avoid exposure to potentially rodent-infested areas. Individuals exhibiting the aforementioned symptoms are advised to seek immediate medical treatment.