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Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome: An Alert to Latin American Countries



Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome: An Alert to Latin American Countries



Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases 3(6): 203-214



Approximately 400 cases of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) have been reported on the North American continent since the first epidemic in 1993, in New Mexico, USA. In Brazil, 12 cases were confirmed before 1998. Infection results from inhalation of rodent blood, saliva or waste. Clinical findings of the disease are characterized by a nonspecific febrile illness, followed by rapid progression to pulmonary edema which may lead to a shock-like state or renal failure. Mortality is high and emergency measures are necessary, including ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) in those patients with cardiopulmonary failure. Each virus strain is carried by a specific species of rodent. This leads to an overlapping geographic distribution of the rodent and virus. Public health authorities emphasize prevention of the disease. Guidelines have been prepared by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) for use by Latin American countries. Vaccines against hantavirus are under development and clinical trails are ongoing in Korea, China and the United States.

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Accession: 046211842

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PMID: 11084670


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