Short Report: Prevalence of Hantavirus Infection in Rodents Associated with Two Fatal Human Infections in California

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  • U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), California Department of Health Services, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland

Rodents living near two fatal human cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in California were surveyed for evidence of hantavirus infection. Seventeen (15%) (14 Peromyscus maniculatus and one each of P. truei, Eutamias minimus, and Microtus californicus) of 114 rodents tested had evidence (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or polymerase chain reaction) of hantavirus infection. This suggests that Peromyscus mice, and P. maniculatus in particular, may be the reservoir for the virus causing this newly recognized disease in California, as previously reported for New Mexico and Arizona.

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