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General Hantavirus Technical/Clinical Information

Mice in the bushes

Enzootic Cycle, Epizootic Cycle…

Sin Nombre virus isolate

Hantaviruses that cause HPS…

Illustration of air particles with hantavirus inhaled by a person
Airborne Transmission

Stirring up air with particles of hantaviruses…

The description of hantavirus disease traces back to 1951, where a hantavirus caused hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in North and South Korea. It took many years before the virus was eventually isolated from a rodent reservoir and placed in the family Bunyaviridae. The viruses that caused HFRS in Asia were later grouped as Old World Hantaviruses.

The most recent major event in the history of hantaviruses was the discovery of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in the southwestern United States in 1993, that was caused by the hantavirus strain Sin Nombre. There are many hantavirus strains that occur globally. This section contains information that describe the viruses ecology, virology and airborne transmission.


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  • Page last reviewed: August 29, 2012 (archived document) The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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