BUNYAVIRUS INFECTIONS

Bunyavirus infections are spherical, single-stranded, enclosed RNA viruses that cause illnesses (formerly the Bunyaviridae family). These viruses can cause mild to severe illness in both people and animals and are transferred by rodents or arthropods (such as ticks, mosquitoes, ticks, sand flies, etc).

TYPES

The following are the types of Bunyavirus infections:

  • Phenuiviridae. Only viruses belonging to the genus known as phleboviruses within this family are known to infect people. The most serious phlebovirus disease, rift valley fever, can be contracted by an infected mosquito, fly, or from coming into touch with an infected animal’s blood or organs.
  • Hantaviridae. Hantaviruses are mostly spread by mice and rats, similar to arenaviruses. Hantaviruses from the Old World produce viral hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is brought on by New World hantaviruses, those prevalent in South, Central, and North America (HPS).
  • Nairoviridae. Although some are rodent-borne, most nairoviruses are spread via ticks. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, which causes the disease, is the most prominent naiovirus (CCHF).
  • Arenaviridae. Rodents, primarily mice and rats, disseminate arenaviruses, which cause a variety of viral hemorrhagic fevers and a disorder known as lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM).

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms for Bunyavirus infections vary, depending on the type of virus that you have. Generally, they include:

  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Aching of the muscles, joints, and bones
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dizziness

Severe indications of this condition may include:

  • Respiratory failure
  • Liver failure
  • Internal bleeding
  • Coma
  • Bleeding from the mouth, eyes, or ears
  • Malfunctioning of the nervous system
  • Kidney failure
  • Delirium
  • Death

Meanwhile, the following are more specific symptoms that may accompany the type of Bunyavirus infections that you have:

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malaise
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

DIAGNOSIS

Presumptive diagnosis in febrile cases is based on the location of the exposure and the types of anthropods present there, as well as the season when the illness was acquired. The presence of specific IgM, an increase in antibody titer in matched sera, viral isolation, or RNA detection by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction serve as diagnostic indicators (RT-PCR).

TREATMENT

Treatment for Buunyavirus infections varies, depending on their type. Treatment options may include:

  • Supportive care
  • Ribavirin
  • Vaccines

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