Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome: The new American hemorrhagic fever

C. J. Peters, Ali S. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


The recognition of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) after the investigation of a cluster of unexplained respiratory deaths in the southwestern United States during the spring of 1993 showcased our ability to recognize new and emerging diseases, given the correct juxtaposition of a new clinical entity with circumscribed epidemiologic features that are analyzed with novel diagnostic methods. In less than a decade, HPS has become established as a pan-American zoonosis due to numerous viruses maintained by sigmodontine rodents with rodent- and virus-specific epidemiologic profiles. The classical features of the syndrome - acute febrile illness associated with prominent cardiorespiratory compromise after direct contact or inhalation of aerosolized rodent excreta - has been extended to include clinical variants, including disease with frank hemorrhage, that have confirmed that this syndrome is a viral hemorrhagic fever. Efforts are under way to refine prevention strategies, to understand the pathogenesis of the shock, and to identify therapeutic modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1224-1231
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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