Deadly Rodent Borne Diseases – Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

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Deadly Rodent Borne Diseases – Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

The major risk factor for Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is association with rodents, their saliva, urine, or feces or with dust, dirt, or surfaces contaminated with such items, either by direct contact or by aerosol. Barns, sheds, homes, or buildings easily entered by rodents are potential places for the deadly hantaviruses to come in contact with humans.

Do contact the IKARI pest professional team immediately at (+65) 67431313 if you see a rodent or rat scurrying away to hide in your premises. This is an indication that your premise might have an infestation of over 100 rodents in the area.

Do not attempt to use a vacuum or use a broom to remove rodent urine or feces; this action may increase the risk of HPS by generating an aerosol. Similar precautions should be taken when rodents are caught in traps.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome


What is hantavirus?

The term hantavirus represents several groups of RNA-containing viruses that are members of the virus family of Bunyaviridae that are carried by rodents and can cause severe respiratory infections termed hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).

HPS is found mainly in the Americas (Canada, U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama, and others) while HFRS is found mainly in Russia, China, and Korea but may be found in Scandinavia and Western Europe and occasionally in other areas. Like HPS, HFRS results from hantaviruses that are transmitted by rodent urine, droppings, or saliva (rodent bite), by direct contact with the animals, or by aerosolized dust contaminated with rodent urine or feces to human skin breaks or to mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, or eyes. The vast majority of HPS and HFRS infections are currently not transferred from person to person.

The goal of this article is to discuss HPS; however, much of what is presented about HPS applies to HFRS — the main difference is that the predominant symptoms in the late stages of disease vary somewhat between the two diseases (lung fluid and shortness of breath in HPS and low blood pressure, fever, and kidney failure in HFRS).

What is hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), and what are hantavirus pulmonary syndrome symptoms and signs?

HPS is a disease caused by hantavirus that results in human lungs filling with fluid (pulmonary edema) and causing death in about 38% of all infected patients. The symptoms and signs of HPS are usually grouped into early and late stages. Early HPS signs and symptoms begin about one to five weeks after the person contacts hantavirus associated with rodent urine, feces, or saliva. The early symptoms last about four to 10 days and include the following:

  •     Fatigue
  •     Fever
  •     Muscle aches (especially large muscles in the legs, back, and hips)

Almost every infected person develops these symptoms. Other symptoms that may occur in about half of infected patients include abdominal pain (with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea), headaches, chills, and dizziness.

Late symptoms of HPS symptoms occur about four to 10 days after the early symptoms and include coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath that can become severe.

Contact the IKARI Pest Professionals

Do not leave the infestation unattended, as rodents and rats breed quickly, and spread deadly viruses. Our Ikari service specialists can help you keep your office, buildings, restaurants, factories and homes pest free. Contact us and our service specialists will do a thorough investigation of your premises to diagnose the level of infestation and recommend a holistic, human-safe and low-toxic strategy for long term elimination of pests in your premises, in an environmentally responsible manner.