Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What are complications of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?

The major complication of HPS is death from respiratory failure (the mortality, or death, rate of patients with HPS is about 38%). The patients may take a few weeks to fully recover. Those patients who survive do not have chronic infections nor do they show other chronic problems or complications.

What is the prognosis of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?

The prognosis of HPS is fair to poor; some clinicians would say the prognosis is either good because the patient recovers without complications (currently, about 62% recover) or very poor (about 38% will die). The prognosis may be better if the patient is diagnosed early and given support in an intensive-care unit in a hospital. However, the early diagnosis of HPS is difficult; some patients did not know they had been exposed to rodents that carried hantavirus.

Can hantavirus pulmonary syndrome be prevented?

Comment on this

Currently, there are no vaccines available to protect against any hantavirus types. The CDC recommends elimination or reduction of contact with any rodents (for example, at home, worksites, campsites, barns, sheds) by reducing rodent access. Sealing up gaps and holes, placing traps, and keeping areas as clean and food free as possible will help. If a person must come in contact with rodents or areas where they live, precautions such as gloves and masks may reduce the chances for infection. Do not attempt to vacuum away rodent-contaminated debris as the aerosol created may increase the risk for HPS. Wiping or spraying the areas with detergent and bleach solution (see above) is the way to disinfect areas.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/18/2012

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Hantavirus - Causes Question: What was the cause of a hantavirus infection in you or someone you know?
Hantavirus - Diagnosis Question: Please discuss the events that led to a diagnosis of hantavirus.
Hantavirus - Prevention Question: If you live in a region where hantavirus was detected, what precautions did you take?