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Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome: at the crossroads



Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome: at the crossroads



Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 14(2): 205-209



The initial identification in 1993 of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome as a novel, highly fatal respiratory illness among American Indians in the southwestern USA in 1993 opened the window to the recognition of a well-established pan-American zoonosis with a myriad of causative viruses and rodent vectors, although all are New World hantaviruses among New World sigmodontine rodents. The clinical spectrum of symptoms has also been expanded to include asymptomatic infection through to fulminant hemorrhagic fever. Although the use of ribavirin, an antiviral drug, was disappointing in an early, open-labeled trial, early detection and supportive care is much better refined. However, much work remains in probing the pathogenesis of this syndrome to help define and explore therapeutic options and the mechanism of person-to-person transmission with Andes virus, one of the viruses that cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Current remote sensing efforts and longitudinal ecologic investigations need to be expanded in order to focus prevention efforts better.

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Accession: 046211912

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PMID: 11979134


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