Hantavirus outbreak in China kills 13

An outbreak of hantavirus in eastern China has killed 13 and infected 249 people.

Many residents of Qingdao City, Shangdong Province, have fled in fear of the disease. Residents are angry at the failure of local officials to stop the spread of the epidemic, according to

“Since the October outbreak of Hantavirus fever in Qingdao, the epidemic has been raging on and sweeping farther,” Jiang Fachun, the director of the Qingdao City Disease Control Center, said, reports.

Hantavirus is considered a rare but deadly disease that is spread by rodents. It is fatal in approximately 35 percent of cases. The Qingdao City outbreak was caused by an Asian Hantvirus strain that causes renal syndrome as well as hemorrhagic fever.

Initial symptoms of Hantavirus fever often appear similar to that of the common cold and may appear to get better for a period of one to two days. By the time many patients are taken to a hospital or clinic for treatment they are already in critical condition.

Winter often exacerbates the spread of Hantavirus outbreaks, as rodents enter homes to escape falling temperatures. Most of those exposed to the virus have come into contact with rodent droppings. The illness is not spread by human contact, according to