Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome advances through two distinct stages. In the first stage, you may experience flu-like signs and symptoms that may include
- Fever and chills
- Headaches and muscle aches
- Vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain
In its early stages, hantavirus infection is difficult to distinguish from influenza, pneumonia or other viral conditions. After four to 10 days, more-serious signs and symptoms begin. They typically include:
- A cough that produces secretions
- Shortness of breath
- Fluid accumulating within the lungs
- Low blood pressure
- Reduced heart efficiency
When to see a doctor
The signs and symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome can worsen suddenly and may quickly become life-threatening. If you've been around rodents or rodent droppings and have signs and symptoms of fever, chills, muscle aches or any difficulties breathing, seek immediate medical attention.
Jan. 02, 2014
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- Magill AJ, et al. Hunter's Tropical Medicine and Emerging Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 12, 2013.
- Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/hps/index.html. Accessed Sept. 12, 2013.
- Phipatanakul W, et al. Environmental assessment and exposure reduction of rodents: A practice parameter. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. 2012;109:375.
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