The incubation period of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

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  • 1 Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30329-4018, USA.

In 1993 Sin Nombre virus was recognized as the cause of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) was identified as the reservoir host. Surveillance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments includes investigation to determine the likely site(s) and activities that led to infection, an environmental assessment of the home and workplace, and possibly rodent trappings at these sites. As of December 31, 1998, there were 200 confirmed cases from 30 states (43% case-fatality ratio). The national HPS case registry was examined to determine the incubation period of HPS. Review of 11 case-patients with well-defined and isolated exposure to rodents suggests that the incubation period of HPS is 9 to 33 days, with a median of 14-17 days. Case investigations allow a better understanding of the incubation time of HPS and may define high-risk behaviors that can be targeted for intervention.