Sin Nombre Virus Essay

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The Sin Nombre virus is found in deer mice, common in the Southwestern part of the United States. This virus is not new to the area but the particular strain that caused the outbreak in 1993 was a new strain to the area. The Native Americans in the area have remedies for the virus. The best method for containing the outbreaks is to prevent contamination from the mice. Mice are scavengers that feed on what they can find including grains. Since 1993 there have been no outbreaks of the hantavirus but several people a year are infected and half of the infected people die from pulmonary complications. There is no placental transfer of the hantavirus from the mother to the fetuses she carries but the young deer mice can become infected with the hantavirus at any time after birth (Hantavirus, n.d.). Many deer mice carry the virus in their body fluids and tissues. They infect other mice through fighting for mates because the skin can be scratched or bitten by another mouse (Frequently Asked Questions: Hantavirus and Zika Virus, n.d.). The deer mouse can live up to eight years but in the wild most live a…show more content…
Mr. Andy Natonobah, a Navajo medicine-man, described the ceremony used for healing. The ceremony was passed down for generations in his family for the cure of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. The ceremony uses inotropic herbs in high dosages (A Description of a Navajo Healing Ceremony for Hantavirus, 2001). The purpose of the inotropic herbs is to increase the contractility of the heart muscle to prevent the hypoxia which comes from the buildup of fluid in the lungs. Capsicum, blue cohosh, ephedra, Pau d’Arco, and gentian would have been available to the medicine-man in previous years. These herbals have known inotropic properties (Dharmananda, 2003). Navajo medical beliefs concur with public health recommendations for preventing the disease (Frequently Asked Questions: Hantavirus and Zika Virus,
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