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Signs & Symptoms for Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

Due to the small number of HPS cases, the "incubation time" is not positively known. However, on the basis of limited information, it appears that symptoms may develop between 1 and 5 weeks after exposure to fresh urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents.

Early Symptoms

Early symptoms: fever, headaches, muscle aches, stomach problems, dizziness, chills

Early symptoms include fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in the large muscle groups—thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. These symptoms are universal.

There may also be headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. About half of all HPS patients experience these symptoms.

Late Symptoms

Late symptoms: lungs fill with fluid, shortness of breath

Four to 10 days after the initial phase of illness, the late symptoms of HPS appear. These include coughing and shortness of breath, with the sensation of, as one survivor put it, a "...tight band around my chest and a pillow over my face" as the lungs fill with fluid.

Is the Disease Fatal?

Yes. HPS can be fatal. It has a mortality rate of 38%.

 

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  • Page last reviewed: August 29, 2012
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