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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
November 22/29, 2006

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome—Five States, 2006

JAMA. 2006;296(20):2434. doi:10.1001/jama.296.20.2434

MMWR. 2006;55:627-629

2 figures omitted

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a rodentborne viral disease characterized by severe pulmonary illness and a case-fatality ratio of 30%-40%. Sin Nombre virus causes the majority of HPS cases in the United States, and the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) is its predominant reservoir. This report describes an increase in human cases of HPS reported during January-March 2006 from Arizona, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, and Washington state. The findings emphasize the need for renewed attention to reducing the risk for hantavirus exposure.

Human HPS

HPS is characterized by a febrile illness (i.e., temperature >101.0°F) associated with bilateral diffuse interstitial edema of the lungs developing within 72 hours of hospitalization in a previously healthy person; radiographically, the edema can resemble acute respiratory distress syndrome.1 Annually, the majority of HPS cases occur in spring and summer; however, the seasonality of HPS can vary by elevation, location, and biome, and cases have been identified throughout the winter and early spring.2 Since recognition of the disease in 1993, CDC has confirmed 438 cases of HPS* reported from 30 states among residents of 32 states; 35% (154) of these cases were fatal.