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Who is affected by hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS)

Who is affected by hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS)

Through July 6, 2005, 396 cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) had been reported in the United States.1

  • HPS mostly affects adults, but the age of people who develop HPS has ranged from 10 to 83 years old.
  • HPS affects both genders, although males are at a slightly higher risk of developing the illness (63% male and 37% female).
  • 77% of the people with HPS have been white, 19% have been American Indian, 2% have been African American, and 1% have been Asian.

Although the majority of HPS cases occur in the southwestern United States, cases have been reported in 31 states.2 Most people who develop HPS either live in rural areas or have visited rural areas during the 4 weeks before symptoms of the illness appear.

Other countries also have had confirmed cases of HPS, including:3

  • Canada, mainly in the western provinces.
  • South American countries Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, and Bolivia.
  • Panama.



  1. National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007). Case information: Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome case count and descriptive statistics. All About Hantaviruses. Available online:

  2. Mills JN, et al. (2002). Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome—United States: Updated recommendations for risk reduction. MMWR 51(RR-9): 1–12.

  3. World Health Organization (2004). Number of Cases of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) (Region of the Americas, 1993–2004). Available online:


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerW. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Last RevisedMarch 2, 2010

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