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any of a genus (Hantavirus) of single-stranded RNA virusesvirus,
parasite with a noncellular structure composed mainly of nucleic acid within a protein coat. Most viruses are too small (100–2,000 Angstrom units) to be seen with the light microscope and thus must be studied by electron microscopes.
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 that are carried by rodents and transmitted to humans when they inhale vapors from contaminated rodent urine, saliva, or feces. There are many strains of hantavirus. The first to be isolated (1976) was the Hantaan virus (from the Han River in South Korea, which also gives the species its name). Hantaan virus and its related strains, Seoul virus and Puulmala virus, cause Korean hemorrhagic fever (more correctly, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome), a condition in which the capillaries of the circulatory system begin to leak blood. Although some people with the disease are nearly asymptomatic, in others it can lead to shock, acute kidney failure, and, in 10% of cases, death.

A second disease, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, was identified in the United States in 1993 and is caused by at least three strains of the virus. It is known to be carried by deer mice, white-footed mice, and cotton rats. This disease is much more deadly, causing flulike symptoms that can lead to fluid accumulation in the lungs and death. One of the pulmonary strains, the Sin Nombre virus (named for a Spanish massacre of Native Americans that occurred in the canyon where it was discovered), was the cause of a 1993 outbreak in the Four Corners area of the SW United States that killed 32 of 53 people known to have been infected. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome occurs sporadically in North America, with roughly one third of those known to be infected dying from the disease. Outbreaks of a hantavirus strain that apparently can be spread from person to person occurred in South America in 1996 and 1997. There is no vaccination for pulmonary hantavirus. Treatment includes respiratory and hemodynamic support; the antiviral drug ribavirin has been effective in some cases.

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Ecology of rodent-associated hantaviruses in the Southern Cone of South America: Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Hantaviruses are a large group of RNA viruses that belong to the family Bunyaviridae.
2012), four hantaviruses have been documented in rodents that occur in Mexico: El Moro Canyon virus, Playa de Oro virus, Limestone Canyon virus, and Sin Nombre virus (Hjelle et al.
6) The few cases of HPS described in these areas (n=12) were caused by other species of hantaviruses, each having different, preferred rodent reservoirs (Table 1).
Seven New World hantaviruses have been associated with Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS--Fulhorst et al.
Infection of humans with hantaviruses induces 2 severe diseases: hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) [4] and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS).
The presence of 2 hantaviruses, SNV in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and El Moro Canyon virus in Western harvest mice (Reithrodontomys megalotis) were investigated at study sites.
Murid rodents (family Muridae) in the subfamilies Sigmodontinae (New World mice and rats), Murinae (Old World rats and mice), and Arvicolinae (voles) are the principal hosts of the hantaviruses known to cause human disease (Schmaljohn and Hjelle, 1997).
Hantaviruses are lipid-enveloped, trisegmented, single-stranded RNA viruses of the family Bunyavirdae.
Rats, legions of them stowaways on ships, are the usual hosts for Hantaan and Seoul Hantaviruses in urban areas of this country.
Until 1993, hantaviruses around the world had been linked to the development of hemorrhagic fever.