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Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome: The New American Hemorrhagic Fever – Research Nebraska

PY – 2002/5/1

Y1 – 2002/5/1

N2 – The recognition of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) after the investigation of a cluster of unexplained respiratory deaths in the southwestern United States during the spring of 1993 showcased our ability to recognize new and emerging diseases, given the correct juxtaposition of a new clinical entity with circumscribed epidemiologic features that are analyzed with novel diagnostic methods. In less than a decade, HPS has become established as a pan-American zoonosis due to numerous viruses maintained by sigmodontine rodents with rodent- and virus-specific epidemiologic profiles. The classical features of the syndrome – acute febrile illness associated with prominent cardiorespiratory compromise after direct contact or inhalation of aerosolized rodent excreta – has been extended to include clinical variants, including disease with frank hemorrhage, that have confirmed that this syndrome is a viral hemorrhagic fever. Efforts are under way to refine prevention strategies, to understand the pathogenesis of the shock, and to identify therapeutic modalities.

AB – The recognition of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) after the investigation of a cluster of unexplained respiratory deaths in the southwestern United States during the spring of 1993 showcased our ability to recognize new and emerging diseases, given the correct juxtaposition of a new clinical entity with circumscribed epidemiologic features that are analyzed with novel diagnostic methods. In less than a decade, HPS has become established as a pan-American zoonosis due to numerous viruses maintained by sigmodontine rodents with rodent- and virus-specific epidemiologic profiles. The classical features of the syndrome – acute febrile illness associated with prominent cardiorespiratory compromise after direct contact or inhalation of aerosolized rodent excreta – has been extended to include clinical variants, including disease with frank hemorrhage, that have confirmed that this syndrome is a viral hemorrhagic fever. Efforts are under way to refine prevention strategies, to understand the pathogenesis of the shock, and to identify therapeutic modalities.