Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a potentially fatal respiratory illness caused by a virus found in the saliva, urine, and droppings of some rodents. People can become infected with the virus by breathing contaminated dust; handling infected rodent saliva, urine, or droppings; or being bitten by an infected rodent.
Fever, fatigue, and muscle aches develop about 2 to 3 weeks after being exposed to the virus. A few days later, coughing and shortness of breath become severe as fluid builds up in the lungs (pulmonary edema). HPS is diagnosed with laboratory tests.
Early treatment for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is important for survival. Treatment includes supportive care for breathing and prevention of shock. HPS can be prevented by avoiding contact with rodents and their droppings.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Find out what women really need.