Public Health Problem : The Outbreak Of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

974 Words Aug 24th, 2015 4 Pages
Public Health Problem
The hantavirus is a virus that is transmitted to humans by rodents. An infection with this virus can develop into Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, a disease that affects the lungs and kidneys, which can ultimately be fatal. Humans can contract the virus by coming in contact with mice nests, droppings, or by inhaling contaminated air. Rodents can also spread the disease by biting someone (which is rare), or if a person eats something that is contaminated. The first known outbreak of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) was in May 1993, when it hit Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. After a young couple died from unidentified pulmonary disease similar cases began to surface in the same area.Tissues from infected patients were sent over to the CDC where they found a link among all the patients, it was some kind of unknown hantavirus. Since there was other known cases of the hantavirus in Europe and Asia that were caused by rodents researchers concluded that this outbreak was caused by rodents also. That same year deer mice, who are reservoirs to the virus, were captured and taken away from their peridomestic homes owned by patients. The reason behind the 1993 outbreak was most likely the result of increased vegetation in the Four corners area, thus the rodent population increased and as more rodents entered human homes more humans were inhaling contaminated air. Luckily in the recent years there has not been many cases of HPS but we may are…

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