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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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Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in Panama: identification of novel hantaviruses and their likely reservoirs.
Molecular linkage of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome to the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus: genetic characterization of the M genome of New York virus.
Using remotely sensed data to identify areas at risk for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.
Online Case Report Update, Epidemiology of HPS Slide Set, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.
from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is Distinguishable From Acute Interstitial Pneumonia--Colby et al)
Assessment of person-to-person transmission of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in a Chilean hospital setting.
Question Which of the following statements best reflects the reason for recent stories about Ebola in Africa, West Nile fever in Dallas, Texas, and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in Yosemite National Park?
Infected deer mice don't show many symptoms, but people inhaling the virus from mouse urine or saliva can get sick with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.
Rains and flooding in the western United States have led to an increase in cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome this year, according to the June 9 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
2000) found that El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-related heavy rainfall, with subsequent increase in the rodent population, preceded human cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in the American southwest.
Featured topics include persisting problems in tuberculosis, pathogenic Escherichia coli O157:H7, the revival of Group A streptococcal diseases, antibiotic resistance in bacteria, Korean hemorrhagic fever and Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and the origins and future of the Ebola virus.
In the spring and summer of 1993, an outbreak of acute respiratory disease in the southwestern United States was attributed to a novel hantavirus; the disease was subsequently named hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).