Hantaviruses infect rodents around the world. Many species can cause illness in people including hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). The virus is in the saliva, feces and urine of infected rodents and anyone who comes into frequent contact with rodents or their droppings are at risk.
HFRS is primarily seen in Europe and Asia and results in kidney failure and bleeding disorders which are usually not seen in individuals with HPS.
HPS occurs in the United States. The disease can lead to severe respiratory failure and shock. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and 366 cases have been identified in the U.S. as of June 2004.
Hantavirus syndromes are reportable to the Iowa Department of Public Health by Iowa Administrative Code 641 IAC 1.