The Pan American Health Organization
Promoting Health in the Americas

 Safe Hospitals

Health Surveillance & Disease Prevention & Control — Communicable Diseases: 
Acute Respiratory Infections - Anthrax - Antimicrobial Resistance - Campylobacter - Chagas -
Cholera - Dengue - Diarrheal/Enteric Diseases - Disease Outbreak News -
Emerging/Reemerging Diseases - Filariasis - Hantavirus - InfluenzaAvian |  Pandemic |  Seasonal - International Health Regulations - Leishmaniasis - Leprosy - Malaria -
Neglected Diseases - Parasitic Diseases - Rabies - Research - Salmonella - Shigella - Smallpox -
Tuberculosis - West Nile Virus  - Yellow Fever  -
Health Analysis & Statistics - Chronic Diseases - Veterinary Public Health


Full Text (63 pages, PDF)

Cover, Contents, Preface

Chapters 1–8
1. Introduction
2. The Viruses
3. Rodent Ecology and Epizoology
4. Epidemiology of Human Disease
5. Transmission to Humans
6. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome Surveillance and Case Definition
7. Clinical Manifestations and Treatment of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
8. Prevention and Control



1. List of Participants at the Hantavirus Guidelines Meeting
2. Case Report Forms
3. Guidelines for the Safe Transport of Infectious Substances and Diagnostic Specimens
4. Biosafety Guidelines
5. Educational Materials Available from CDC
6. Prevention Campain against HPS in Argentina
7. Prevention Campaign against Hantavirus in Chile: Non-Outbreak and Outbreak Situations
8. Hantavirus Prevention in the USA
9. Prevention Materials for Reproduction and Distribution

PAHO Hantavirus Page

Hantavirus in the Americas:
Guidelines for Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, and Control

Hantavirus in the Americas

In 1993, the outbreak of a mysterious, deadly respiratory illness in the southwestern United States made national headlines. When a hantavirus was found to be the culprit, other governments in the Region began to focus greater attention on the presence and effects of hantavirus in their countries. This publication presents an extensive view of what came to be known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), its clinical manifestations, methods of preventing infection, and measures taken by governments in the Region to monitor hantaviruses and educate health professionals and the general public about the disease.

This comprehensive manual begins by describing the different hantaviruses known in the Americas and their reservoirs, rodent ecology and zoology, and the epidemiology of human disease in the Region. Upon this foundation, the manual describes the disease's clinical manifestation and diagnosis and presents guidelines for HPS surveillance, treatment, and case management. It also provides detailed, easy-to-follow instructions for preventing infection in the home, hospital, and laboratory, as well for cleaning rodent-infested areas. The importance of educating health professionals and the general public about the disease is stressed through examples of communication strategies used in different countries of the Region. The publication also provides an overview of communication tools that can be adapted to educate diverse populations about HPS and other communicable diseases.

An essential tool for anyone involved in hantavirus prevention, control, treatment, or health education activities, Hantavirus in the Americas contains useful, stand-alone annexes, such as sample case-report forms, guidelines for safe handling and transfer of specimens, educational resources, and descriptions of prevention campaigns undertaken by countries in the Region. The book's handy format allows for rapid reproduction and distribution of the annexes and infection, prevention, and control measures.

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
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Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

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