Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome HPS

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS): Description, Causes and Risk Factors:Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS)Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory disease in humans caused by infection with a hantavirus (A genus of Bunyaviridae responsible for pneumonia and hemorrhagic fevers. At least 7 members of the genus are thus far recognized: Hantaan, Puumala, Seoul, Prospect Hill, Thailand, Thottapalayam, and Sin Nombre virus. A number of other species have not been classified as yet. Hantaan virus causes Korean hemorrhagic fever. Various rodent species are the asymptomatic carriers of these viruses, which are shed in saliva, urine, and feces. Human infection is direct, or by the respiratory route from contaminated specimens; person-to-person spread is thought to be rare. An outbreak of hantavirus infection, the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), causing severe and often fatal pulmonary symptoms was identified in the Four-Corners region of the western U.S. in 1993 and the agent was subsequently named Sin Nombre virus). HPS was first recognised in 1993 after an outbreak of severe respiratory disease.Anyone who comes into contact with rodents that carry hantavirus is at risk of HPS. Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure. Even healthy individuals are at risk for HPS infection if exposed to the virus.HPS cases have also been reported in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil,Canada, Chile, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay.Transmission is not by arthropod vector, but usually follows inhalation of infected aerosols of rodent saliva, urine or faecal material. Cases have been reported after rodent bites or wound inoculation with infected material. Human-to-human transmission has been seen in HPS, and may bepossible in patients with HFRS, where infected blood or body fluids could cause nosocomial transmission.Symptoms:Symptoms usually start 2 to 3 weeks after a person has been exposed to the virus. Early symptoms may include:A fever and chills. You quickly will become very sick. Within a few days, you'll start to have more serious symptoms, such as:Shortness of breath.
  • Coughing.
  • A fast heartbeat and fast breathing. These are signs of fluid buildup in the lungs (pulmonary edema).
After a person with HPS starts having trouble breathing, he or she may die within hours. Most deaths occur within 1 to 2 days after severe breathing problems begin. About 4 out of 10 people who get HPS do not survive.1Diagnosis:Your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your symptoms, past health, and exposure to rodents. You may have other tests, such as chest X-rays, a complete blood count, and an oxygen saturation test.Your doctor will know for sure that you have HPS only if you have the signs of HPS and if tests show that the virus is or has been in your blood or tissues.Treatment:Supportive treatment is essential to maintain organ function. HPS cannot be effectively treated with antibiotics; however, in early disease patients should be placed on broad-spectrum antibiotics until the diagnosis of HPS is well established, because differential diagnosis between bacterial shock and hantaviral shock may be difficult. Ribavirin is effective in HFRS but it has shown no clinical effectiveness in HPS cases.Prevention revolves around reducing exposure to infected rodents and their faeces or urine. For some areas in the USA, the problem is complicated by the range of infected rodents coinciding with natural plague foci, and the demise of rodents may lead to associated, possibly infected, fleas seeking alternative hosts and provoking a plague outbreak.NOTE: The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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