Hantavirus in Baden-Württemberg is declining


New hantavirus cases in Baden-Württemberg are declining

The Hantavirus epidemic in Baden-Württemberg is slowly subsiding. While up to 134 new cases were registered every week between the end of April and mid-May, the authorities are meanwhile recording no more than 20 cases per week, according to the Stuttgart Regional Council. Almost two thirds of the sufferers had to be treated in hospital.

1,644 new hantavirus cases in Baden-Württemberg The number of new hantavirus cases is falling. “The weekly new cases are still significantly higher than in most previous years. They go back to the level of the previous record years in 2007 and 2010, ”the Stuttgart Regional Council announced on its website. According to the information, more than 60 percent of all hantavirus cases in Germany were registered in Baden-Württemberg. "Since the beginning of the year until September 5, 2012, 1,644 hantavirus diseases have been transmitted to the Baden-Württemberg State Health Office - more than every year before." Even in the earlier record years of 2007 and 2010, only around 900 cases of illness were reported until the beginning of September.

As the regional council further reports, there are large regional differences in the number of diseases: “Most diseases occur along the Swabian Jura. Parts of Upper Swabia, the Rhine Valley and the southern Black Forest were rarely or hardly affected. "

65 percent of new hantavirus diseases had to be treated in hospital. Male adults in particular were affected by the infectious disease. Up to 65 percent had to be treated in hospital. 63 percent of those affected had impaired kidney function as a result of the disease.

Hantaviruses are spread by vole mice. The pathogen is in the faeces, urine and saliva of the animals. If a person inhales dust containing pathogens, he can become infected. In 2012, the red vole population is particularly large due to the abundant supply of beech nuts in the last autumn, the main food source for red vole. This is why areas with many beech forests are particularly affected by hantavirus infections.

Hantavirus infection usually progresses with flu-like symptoms. After an incubation period of 12 to 21 days, there is a very high fever, headache, abdominal pain, back pain and minor bleeding (petechiae). Severe courses can lead to reduced urine excretion (oliguria) with "arterial hypertension", which can lead to failure of one or both kidneys. Pulmonary edema also occurs very rarely.

The Hanta virus is named after a Korean river (Hanta river). The virus became known worldwide after thousands of UN soldiers became infected with it in the Korean War in the 1950s. The virus has now spread worldwide. (ag)

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Hantavirus infections in Baden-Württemberg
Increase in hantavirus infections

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