hantavirus survivor symptoms

  • 7 min read
  • Feb 17, 2020

New Mexico woman dies of Hantavirus, rare illness spread by rodents
New Mexico woman dies of Hantavirus, rare illness spread by rodents

September 5, 2012- –
When Jennifer first Benewiat down with fever on Christmas 2010 at his home in Wichita, Kansas, he thought it was the flu.

What she does not know is that she has a deadly disease called, that would stop his heart three times in ten days.

“I still get annoyed because I do not know, and it’s just a mouse,” said Benewiat. Hantavirus carried on airborne particles of urine or feces from infected rodents, which can be inhaled by people. “It was really scary, and people do not realize the dangers that come from something so little.”

As the number of 10,000, including people in 39 countries outside the United States, people who have survived a deadly airborne diseases are reminded of what they went through and the struggle that still lies ahead.

“There is a perception that after the patient has left the hospital, the patient has fully recovered and can go about their normal routine as before, but it did not really happen,” said Marjorie McConnell, a sociologist medical at the University of New Mexico set up a Victims and hantavirus group

McConnell started the group a few years ago to give survivors a place to support each other. It now includes 42 victims and their family members, including some new faces in light of the outbreak in Yosemite.

Benewiat, 29, said the group of hantavirus in Facebook first told him Yosemite this summer’s outbreak, which has killed two people and infected four others. As he read, excessive fear of passing for a moment. It’s the same sensation she gets whenever she read about the new hantavirus cases as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder, he said.

It all starts with a 104-degree fever and flu-like symptoms that will not go away for almost two years ago, said Benewiat. It remains unclear where he inhales the virus. The first time he went to the doctor’s office, he ran a number of tests, but did not find anything. He was sent home with medication for nausea.

When nothing was changed the next day, he was told to go to the emergency room, where doctors perform the test again. But they still do not know the mysterious disease they treat, and Benewiat began to fear that her twins past 2 years, the baby, mother or sister.

“The first doctor he saw in the ER just to be sent home,” said the mother of this Benewiat, Gayle Collins, 52, as he fought off tears. “If he was going home, he would die in his sleep that night.”
Benewiat oxygen level drops when he is in the hospital. Within a few hours, Collins signed a document to put him on a ventilator.

A doctor friend of New Mexico, where hantavirus is more common, recognized the symptoms immediately. They were tested for hantavirus Benewiat, but the results will take over a week to process before they can get an actual diagnosis.

That time he did not have, but sure enough, a chest X-ray revealed that his lungs were full of fluid, common symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Of the 587 reported cases of hantavirus in the United States, 36 percent of them resulting in deaths by December 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Benewiat fever reaches 107 degrees and he went into a coma. Doctors decided to keep her conscious as they are pumped full of drugs and steroids. Collins stayed at her daughter’s bedside all the time except when the doctor inserting a chest tube to drain the lungs of this Benewiat. Collins said she was afraid her daughter would feel pain even in a coma and can not watch.

Benewiat recovery was touch and go for ten days as her kidneys and liver failure, said Collins. Doctors have to resuscitate him three times. Finally, his body began to fight the virus itself and doctors took him out of the coma. He was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down due to steroids, and must learn again to walk and feed himself in a rehabilitation center after she left the intensive care unit on January 20, 2011.

“He does not know where he is,” said Collins. “He knew he had the flu at the time, but she did not know where he is. He thinks he has been kidnapped.”

Although Benewiat have returned to normal life, he said people do not realize how much physical and emotional pain she faced in the aftermath of hantavirus pulmonaryy syndrome. Her life now, including depression, PTSD, anemia, and chronic pain. His mother was also worried about his kidney function, which is regularly tested.

When the therapist Benewiat suggested she find a support group for victims, she learned that she was not alone.

“I think it’s very important for people dealing with this process to discuss the issues since recovery may be similar but not identical,” said McConnell groups. “The survivors Facebook can empathize and offer advice to each other, which is an important part of the recovery process.”

One of the survivors, Charlotte Winter Santa Fe, New Mexico said doctors told her family that if she had flown to the Hospital of the University of New Mexico just ten minutes later, he would die. When he arrived there, his heart stopped, and he was blue from head to toe. He also was in a coma and on the heart and lungs cut off for several days.

It’s been five years now since he fell ill. “While I look okay today, overwhelming fatigue and other side effects of HPS caused me to be flawed,” Winter wrote in an email to ABCNews.com.

Idelette Nutma, from The Hague in the Netherlands, joined the group after falling with the European strain of hantavirus in Belgium in 2007. Her tension carried by red bank deer mice and not rats, but basically doing the same thing. He started with the more developed flu symptoms such as back pain, however, and respiratory problems.

Although abnormal laboratory findings associated with renal and hepatic function Nutma, doctors misdiagnosed her with bilateral pneumonia and sent home a week later. But four weeks later, he was back in the hospital and in critical condition. Although the doctors thought it could hantavirus, he dismissed the notion and kept him in ICU on steroids for five days.

Four weeks later, the results of tests again showed hantavirus antibodies in the blood Nutma, but doctors concluded that the infection was not recent. He blamed the fact that they did not test him until two weeks after he was hospitalized in the ICU for a second time.

Given the acute nature of the disease, Nutma, a nurse, said he believes he struggled hantavirus, but doctors considered the case closed and never proved.

She said she is now suffering from fatigue, muscle and joint pains, and “the reaction of the immune system that is strange,” he explained when the body overreacts as if there is a constant threat of hantavirus.

This Nutma called her mother from the Netherlands this month after hearing about the outbreak of Yosemite in the news, so she read about it yourself.

He said the unpleasant feelings hit right abdomen, and she has the same mix of emotions he felt in 2007 – “lost all grip” the uncertainty and sense She said she was overwhelmed by the idea through chills, back pain and fever and did not know that four weeks later he will be in the ICU on a ventilator fighting for his life.

“I feel just how unpredictable and dangerous this disease and what people may feel fear being exposed to this virus,” he said.

Like many survivors, he wanted to emphasize the increasing awareness among physicians hantavirus. Given the outbreak of Yosemite, McConnell group of victims has started a Tumblr page, which includes news articles and updates from the government health department.

Health officials have emailed camping in Yosemite is now enclosed cabin signatures from June to August, urging them to keep an eye out for the symptoms, seek medical attention early, and let doctors know about the risk of hantavirus them. The reported 10,000.

“The survivors Facebook keen to get an education and awareness out to the public so that the proper cleaning methods utilized,” says McConnell. “The victim did not want anyone else to go through what they are experiencing, or may lose a life.”

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