Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) | American Lung Association

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Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a rare but potentially life-threatening viral illness transmitted to humans by inhaling infected rodent urine, droppings or saliva.

Learn About Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

The 'Hantavirus' is a group of rodent-borne viruses that causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). It can infect both rodents and humans, although rodents seem not to get sick. The virus has a tendency to affect the heart, lungs and kidneys and reduces the function of these organs.

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Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors

People who live in or recently traveled to areas with large rodent populations are at a special risk for developing the hantavirus infection. Fever, dry cough, body aches, headaches, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are symptoms.

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Diagnosing and Treating Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

Diagnosing HPS can be challenging. Symptoms are vague and easily mistakable for other viral illnesses. That is why a doctor must suspect hantavirus to pursue additional testing for HPS. Treatment of HPS includes oxygen therapy, fluid replacement and use of medications to support blood pressure.

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Living with Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

About 4 out of 10 patients with HPS do not survive their illness. However, patients who recover usually do so rapidly.  Supportive treatment during the severe stages of illness, allows the body and its organs to rest and defend themselves as the viral illness runs its course and resolves completely.

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Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

Making notes before your visit, as well as taking along a trusted family member or friend, can help you through the first appointment with your doctor.

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This content was developed in partnership with the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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