HHealth A - Z

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome?

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is an infectious disease characterized by flu-like symptoms that can progress rapidly to potentially life-threatening breathing problems.

It is one of two potentially fatal syndromes of zoonotic origin caused by species of Hantavirus.

These include:

  • Black Creek Canal virus (BCCV)
  • New York virus (NYV)
  • Sin Nombre virus (SNV)
  • certain other members ofHantavirus genera that are native to the United States and Canada

It is also defined as a lung infection caused by viruses found in the saliva, urine, and droppings of some rodents.

Causes of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome:

Each type of Hantavirus has a preferred rodent carrier.

It can be transmitted in two ways

  • Inhalation, the main route of transmission.
  • “Aerosolization” of viruses shed in infected rodents’ droppings, urine or saliva.
  • Person to person transmission

All in all, people can get infected by:

  • Breathing in tiny airborne particles that come from rodent urine.
  • Touching rodent urine, saliva, or droppings.
  • Coming in contact with dust contaminated with the virus.
  • Being bitten by an infected mouse

Factors and activities that increase the risk of developing HPS include:

  • Opening and cleaning long unused buildings or sheds
  • Housecleaning, particularly in attics or other low-traffic areas
  • Having a home or work space infested with rodents
  • Having a job that involves exposure to rodents, such as construction, utility work and pest control
  • Camping, hiking or hunting

Symptoms of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome:

The following symptoms are exhibited:

  • Fever and chills
  • Headaches and muscle aches
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain
  • A cough that produces secretions
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fluid accumulating within the lungs
  • Low blood pressure
  • Reduced heart efficiency
  • Acute respiratory failure
  • Lung infection

Diagnosis of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome:

HPS is diagnosed via:

  • A physical exam
  • Query about symptoms, past health and exposure to rodents
  • Imaging tests
  • Chest x-rays
  • Complete blood count
  • Oxygen saturation test

Treatment of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome:

There is no cure or vaccine for HPS. But the prognosis improves with early recognition, immediate hospitalization and adequate support for breathing.

  • Supportive therapy
  • Assisted respiration
  • Intubation
  • Blood oxygenation
  • extracorporeal membrane oxygenation to help ensure one retains a sufficient supply of oxygen

By : Natural Health News

Related Articles

Back to top button