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- Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) facts
- What is hantavirus? What is hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS)?
- What is the history of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- What causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- What are risk factors for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- Is hantavirus contagious?
- How long is hantavirus contagious?
- What is the incubation period for hantavirus?
- What are hantavirus pulmonary syndrome symptoms and signs?
- How is hantavirus pulmonary syndrome diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- What specialties of doctors treat hantavirus?
- What are complications of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- What is the prognosis of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- Is it possible to prevent hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- Where can people get more information on hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
What is hantavirus? What is hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS)?
The term hantavirus represents several groups of RNA-containing viruses (that are members of the virus family of Bunyaviridae) that are carried by rodents and can cause severe respiratory infections termed hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).
HPS is found mainly in the Americas (Canada, U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama, and others) while HFRS is found mainly in Russia, China, and Korea but may be found in Scandinavia and Western Europe and occasionally in other areas. Like HPS, HFRS results from hantaviruses that are transmitted by rodent urine, droppings, or saliva (rodent bite), by direct contact with the animals, or by aerosolized dust contaminated with rodent urine or feces to human skin breaks or to mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, or eyes. The vast majority of HPS and HFRS infections are not transferred from person to person.
The goal of this article is to discuss HPS; however, much of what is presented about HPS applies to HFRS -- the main difference is that the predominant symptoms in the late stages of disease vary somewhat between the two diseases (lung fluid and shortness of breath in HPS and low blood pressure, fever, and kidney failure in HFRS).
HPS is a disease caused by hantavirus that results in human lungs filling with fluid (pulmonary edema) and causing death in about 38% of all infected patients.