Reservoir and Occurrence

All hantaviruses known to cause HPS are carried by New World rats and mice in the family Muridae, subfamily Sigmodontinae. It appears that each virus has a specific rodent host. The deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, is the host of the Sin Nombre virus. The white footed mouse, Peromyscus leu-copus, is the reservoir for New York virus. Black Creek canal virus is hosted by the cotton rat, Sigmodon hispidus, and the Bayou virus is hosted by the rice rat Oryzomys palustris. Various other sigmodontine rodents in Central and South America are hosts for hantaviruses in these regions. In the United States, studies of people in endemic areas show the prevalence of antibodies to SNV among healthy people is low (0.3%). Studies in mammalogy field workers show a prevalence of antibodies to hantaviruses of slightly higher than 1%. In South America, seroprevalence surveys show rates as high as 30% in some populations engaged in farming (56,57).

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