Serological Evidence of Hantaan Virus Infection in the United States

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  • 1 Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
  • | 2 Department of Tropical Medicine and Medical Microbiology, University of Hawaii, School of Medicine, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • | 3 Vector-Borne Viral Diseases Division, Centers for Disease Control, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • | 4 State Laboratory of Public Health, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • | 5 Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
  • | 6 Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado
  • | 7 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

We found low titers of fluorescent antibodies against Hantaan virus, the etiologic agent of Korean hemorrhagic fever, in sera from 7 of 1,035 patients with febrile illnesses of unknown origin and from 6 of 664 blood donors in the United States. All but 1 of these individuals possessed neutralizing antibodies against Hantaan virus. This was a 31-year-old research technician who had worked with laboratory rodents with virus-induced tumors, but had not traveled abroad, suggesting that infection with Hantaan virus or a closely related agent was locally acquired. However, the precise source of his infection remains unclear.

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