The Health Minister of Panama, Miguel Mayo, confirmed the first death due to Hantavirus, which occurred in the region of Azuero, in the Bebedero de Tonosí, province of Los Santos, which has alerted the Panamanian authorities.
The arrival of the summer season increases the threat of Hanta virus infection, a disease that occurs mostly in rural areas and is transmitted by long-tailed mice. Inhaling particles from the waste of these rodents could infect the population, causing the Hantavirus Cardiopulmonary Syndrome.
"In the case we had, the epidemiological team of the Ministry of Health immediately went to the house and we found that the surroundings were dirty," Minister Mayo reported exclusively for Telemetro, while stressing that it is necessary for the population to know how to prevent the Hantavirus, especially in areas such as Azuero, which is the most vulnerable to the disease.
"They cannot be near, nor sleep on the floor in areas where there are grains, because rodents come to eat and one can get infected by inhaling their waste," Mayo said in an interview for Telemetro.
He also said that the Hantavirus is a disease of respiratory symptoms, which can be confused the first two days with flu.
"That person who has had a fever more than 3 or 4 days, respiratory symptoms that have not improved, as usually happens with a cold, should go to the doctor," Mayo said.
Itza Barahona de Mosca, National Director of Health, also urged the population to have a good hygiene practice at home to prevent the spread of new cases.
"Eliminate everything that allows rodents to come to ones house, take measures to keep the yard and surroundings clean of vermin, to not have breeding sites for rats and mice. Grains should be stored in silos, not inside bags in storages, or inside the house next to where one sleeps, because that attracts the rodents and can make us sick. When the rodent urinates or excretes the population is contaminated," de Mosca explained to local media.
In recent days, the Panamanian Ministry of Health has inspected a total of 48 houses in Bebedero de Los Santos, as part of the health operation they are carrying out to prevent the Hantavirus.