Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) facts
- What is hantavirus?
- What is hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), and what are hantavirus pulmonary syndrome symptoms and signs?
- What is the history of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- What causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- How is hantavirus pulmonary syndrome diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- What are risk factors for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- What are complications of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- What is the prognosis of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- Can hantavirus pulmonary syndrome be prevented?
- Where can people get more information on hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
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?
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.
Where can people get more information on hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Viral Special Pathogens Branch
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Hantavirus." Aug. 29, 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/technical/hanta/virology.html>.
United States. State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. "Hantavirus - Fact Sheet." Mar. 25, 2008. <http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3136&q=388316>.
Last Editorial Review: 9/18/2012
Viewers share their comments
Find out what women really need.