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Strong hantavirus spread expected

Experts expect a significant increase in hantavirus cases in Baden-Württemberg in the coming year. According to a recent forecast, around 1360 cases are expected in the country in 2019, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health said on Saturday. Previously, the "Südwest Presse" reported on it. To date, only 36 cases (as of 15/10) of hantavirus disease have been reported nationwide in the current year. The prognosis should sensitize also for preventive measures for the protection, explained the speaker.

According to the ministry, the virus is transmitted by infected animals such as red-eared mice or brown rats. It causes flu-like symptoms in humans, as well as hypotension and kidney failure.

As a reason for the expected increase, the ministry argues that oaks and beech trees in the country are currently bearing fruit. This ensured optimal feeding conditions for the carriers of the virus – these are mainly red chickens. Minister Manne Lucha (Green Party) emphasized: "Shelter and nesting facilities such as bulky garbage or old tires in the garden should now be disposed of in order to avoid rodent settlements."

Relatively many people were infected with hantavirus in 2017, but at that time around 1700 proven cases were registered throughout the year and nationwide. Strong fluctuations in the annual number of reports are considered normal in this disease.

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