Hantavirus Disease

Reviewed: June 2018

Hantavirus disease is caused by several different strains of hantaviruses. Hantaviruses are found in wild rodents, such as mice and rats, in different parts of the world. Hantaviruses found in North America can cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, a severe lung disease which can be fatal. A milder form of the disease called Non-Pulmonary Hantavirus infection, can also occur. In the U.S., human hantavirus infections were first identified in the Southwest in 1993. Although most cases have occurred in states west of the Mississippi River, sporadic (single) cases have reported in several eastern states including New York.

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