Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a recently recognized vital zoonosis. The first recognized cases were caused by a newly described hantavirus, Sin Nombre virus (previously known as Muerto Canyon virus), isolated from Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mouse). We describe a 33-year-old Floridian man who resided outside the ecologic range of P maniculatus but was found to have serologic evidence of a hantavirus infection during evaluation of azotemia associated with adult respiratory distress syndrome. Small mammal trapping conducted around this patient's residence demonstrated the presence of antihantaviral antibodies in 13% of Sigmodon hispidus (cotton rat). Serologic testing using antigen derived from the Black Creek Canal hantavirus subsequently isolated from this rodent established that this patient was acutely infected with this new pathogenic American hantavirus. HPS is not confined to the geographical distribution of P maniculatus and should be suspected in individuals with febrile respiratory syndromes, perhaps associated with azotemia, throughout the continental United States.
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