Authored by: Colleen B. Jonsson

Manual of Security Sensitive Microbes and Toxins

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553965
eBook ISBN: 9781466553989
Adobe ISBN:


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Hantaviruses cause two very different illnesses in humans when they spillover into humans from their rodent reservoirs, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). 13 Western medicine first recognized HFRS in humans in the early 1950s during the Korean War when United Nations troops fell ill. During that period, the illness was referred to as Korean hemorrhagic fever. 4,5 In 1978, the etiological agent for this disease, Hantaan virus (HTNV), and its reservoir, the striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius), were reported. 6 These pioneering discoveries were followed by the recognition of additional HFRS-related viruses in many parts of Asia and Europe. 4,79 In 1993, an outbreak of severe, unexplained acute respiratory distress in the Four Corners region of the United States led to the discovery of the New World hantaviruses causing HPS. The first virus recognized to cause HPS, Sin Nombre virus (SNV), was shown to be harbored by Peromyscus maniculatus, a common rodent species within North America. 10 In a relatively short time following the outbreak in the United States, additional New World hantaviruses were discovered in outbreaks of HPS throughout the Americas.

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