Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a rare but deadly viral infection. It is spread by mice and rats. They shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. Tiny droplets with the virus can enter the air. People can get the disease if they breathe infected air or come into contact with rodents or their urine or droppings. You cannot catch it from people.
Early symptoms of HPS include
Later symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath.
Controlling rodents in and around your house is the best way to protect yourself from infection. If you have been around rodents and have symptoms of fever, deep muscle aches, and severe shortness of breath, see your doctor immediately.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
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|Date last updated: 23 July 2008
Topic last reviewed: 11 June 2008