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Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Argentina | CDC EID

EID Journal Home > Volume 16, Number 12–December 2010
Volume 16, Number 12–December 2010
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in Argentina, 1995–2008

Valeria P. Martinez, Comments to Author Carla M. Bellomo, María Luisa Cacace, Paola Suárez, Liliana Bogni, and Paula J. Padula
Author affiliations: Administración Nacional de Laboratorios e Institutos de Salud "Dr. C. G. Malbrán," Buenos Aires, Argentina (V.P. Martinez, C.M. Bellomo, P.J. Padula); Hospital San Vicente de Paul de la Nueva Orán, Salta, Argentina (M.L. Cacace); Hospital Descentralizado–Región Sanitaria XI–Ministerio de Salud de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires (P. Suarez); and Área Programática Esquel–Secretaría de Salud de la Provincia de Chubut, Esquel, Argentina (L. Bogni)

Suggested citation for this article

We report a large case series of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in Argentina that was confirmed by laboratory restuls from 1995 through 2008. The geographic and temporal distribution of cases by age, sex, fatality rate, and risk factors for HPS was analyzed. A total of 710 cases were unequally distributed among 4 of the 5 Argentine regions. Different case-fatality rates were observed for each affected region, with a maximum rate of 40.5%. The male-to-female ratio for HPS case-patients was 3.7:1.0; the case-fatality rate was significantly higher for women. Agriculture-associated activities were most commonly reported as potential risk factors, especially among men of working age. Although HPS cases occurred predominantly in isolation, we identified 15 clusters in which strong relationships were observed between members, which suggests ongoing but limited person-to-person transmission.

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) was first recognized in 1993 during an outbreak of acute respiratory distress syndrome in the southwestern United States (1,2). Previously, only Old World hantaviruses had been associated with illness in humans as the causative agents of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. After recognition of HPS, cases in other countries of Central and South America were quickly identified, along with the associated virus and rodent reservoirs (3–10).

Although serologic studies provided the initial evidence of hantavirus circulation in Argentina (11,12), the etiologic agent of HPS in Argentina was first described in 1995 after an outbreak occurred in the Andean sector of Patagonia where Andes virus (ANDV) was characterized (4). Several reports have been published since then, describing HPS cases in 4 regions of the country: Northwest, Northeast, Central, and Patagonia. Six lineages of ANDV were associated with HPS in the 4 regions of Argentina: AND-Oran, AND-Bermejo, AND-BsAs, AND-Lechiguanas, AND-Plata, and AND-South (10,13–16). Juquitiba virus (JUQV) and Laguna Negra (LN)–like virus were also found in the Northeast and Northwest regions, respectively (14,17).

We describe the epidemiologic features of a large proportion of confirmed HPS cases in Argentina. Detailed data were compiled for analysis of age, sex, onset of symptoms, clinical signs, case-fatality rates, geographic origin, and the most probable risk activities.

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Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Argentina | CDC EID

Suggested Citation for this Article

Martinez VP, Bellomo CM, Cacace ML, Suárez P, Bogni L, Padula PJ. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in Argentina, 1995–2008. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2010 Dec [date cited].

DOI: 10.3201/eid1612.091170

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Valeria P. Martinez, Av. Velez Sarsfield 563, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina; email:

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