Hantavirus rodent population expanding

Health authorities are visiting local homes

The population of rodents that transmit the hantavirus, which has already claimed its first victim is on the rise in the Valle de Tonosí, Los Santos.

The report comes from the  Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies (ICGES) which warns of increasing risks of people contacting the often fatal disease, while health authorities have stepped up efforts to persuade local inhabitants to take steps to prevent the transmission of the virus.

oligoryzomys – the disease carrier

Blas Armién, an ICGES researcher, said that a study of the ecology of the rodent revealed that in December 2017 three species of the oligoryzomys genus were found,

while in January nine were captured. This means that there is an increase in the population, and more cases of hantavirus are expected to appear, according to Armién.

The researcher said that the community has to participate in the prevention and control of the disease and to go on time to receive medical attention. to avoid deaths like that of a 62-year-old patient on January 28.