Since January, 460 cases have been registered
According to experts in certain areas of Germany, this year, an above-average number of people could once again be infected with hantavirus. "2019 is clearly a year of outbreak," said Mirko Faber, a scientist at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin. Since January, 460 cases have been registered at the Institute. According to Faber, the Swabian Alb, the areas of Stuttgart and Osnabrück, Lower Franconia, the Bavarian Forest, eastern Hesse, west Thuringia and Münsterland are particularly affected.
Inhalation of feces with dust decomposition of rats with red ears
In Germany, inhalation of dust-decomposing feces from red-eared mice (also called forestry) is the main source of infection for hantavirus. But even with saliva or urine, the virus is eliminated. You can become infected by cleaning or sweeping garages or sheds. There are also risks at leisure: protective and barbecue huts in the forest are also popular among mice, so that one can become infected.
The number of diseases varies from year to year because the probability of infection is related to the density of infected red hens. "Many people get infected when there are many infected red hens," Faber said. Especially in bean fattening years, rat populations are given a boost due to the large feed supply.
Flu-like symptoms of hantavirus infections
In this country, hantavirus infections usually cause illnesses with flu-like symptoms: high fever, headache and pain in the body, nausea or vomiting. The kidneys may also be affected, including acute kidney failure. Only the symptoms can be treated, there is no vaccine. In other regions occurring virus types can cause more serious diseases.