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Epidemiological aspects of a hantavirus infection in a free living population of bank voles clethrionomys glareolus in belgium


, : Epidemiological aspects of a hantavirus infection in a free living population of bank voles clethrionomys glareolus in belgium. Lutra 29(2): 347-349

Epidemiology of infectious diseases can be defined as the study of the presence and circulation of a disease or an etiologic agent in a population. This means that epidemiological studies aim to find a solution for questions such as: - How is infection transmitted? -Which parts of the population are more susceptible to infection? - What are the risk-factors for becoming infected? - In what way does the infection influence demography and other population-ecological features? Of course these questions are quite interesting from a purely academic point of view. However, answers to such questions can be very important for medical research on that disease. They also can be helpful in developing methods to prevent the disease. In our study, we investigated the epidemiology of a Hantavirus in a population of bank voles Clethrionomys glareolus. Hantavirus in humans causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome or Hantavirus disease, which is a quite important health problem throughout the world, especially in Asia and some parts of Europe. It is a zoonosis for which mostly rodents serve as reservoirs. The most important reservoir species are Apodemus agrarius in Asia, Rattus norvegicus and R. rattus throughout the world, and Clethrionomys glareolus in western Europe (Lee, 1982).

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