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Hantaviruses are found in the saliva, urine, and droppings of
infected rodents, which show no signs of illness.
In the United States, at least four hantaviruses are known to cause
hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Each hantavirus
is carried by a specific rodent:
Other rodents may carry hantaviruses, but they have not been
identified. Also, other related viruses cause a spectrum of diseases
called hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). Many of the first symptoms
of HFRS resemble hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. But the later symptoms of HFRS
may include high fever, kidney failure, and bleeding disorders.
February 22, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology
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