Agent

Hantaviruses are negative sensed, single stranded, enveloped viruses belonging to the Bunyaviridae family of viruses. There are at least 13 viruses known to cause HPS. The first virus isolated from the Four Corners area was given the name Sin Nombre virus. Other hantaviruses in the United States that have caused disease in humans include Bayou virus, Black Creek Canal virus, New York, and Monongahela virus. Most HPS in the United States is caused by Sin Nombre virus. Several other viruses are known to cause HPS in Central and South America including Andes virus, Bermejo virus, Juquitiba virus, Laguna virus, Lechiguanas virus, Oran virus, and Choclo virus. Numerous other hantaviruses have been found in rodents on both continents but have not been shown to cause disease in humans at the present time. This may be related to the lack of contact with the rodents or possibly less virulence of the virus (53).

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