Hantaviruses are a family of viruses spread by rodents. Hantavirus is spread to people through aerosolized virus that is shed in rodent urine, feces, and saliva. In the United States, the most common hantavirus is Sin Nombre virus which is spread by the deer mouse.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a severe respiratory disease in humans caused by infection with hantaviruses. Symptoms of HPS start with fever, headaches, muscle aches, dizziness, and chills. Four to ten days after the initial phase of illness, symptoms progress to shortness of breath as the lungs fill with fluid. HPS can be fatal. The mortality rate of HPS is 38%.
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