hantavirus in alabama

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  • Feb 22, 2020

Hantavirus Disease, by State of Reporting | Hantavirus | DHCPP | CDC
Hantavirus Disease, by State of Reporting | Hantavirus | DHCPP | CDC

With Michon Scott

On 14 May 1993, the young, physically healthy people living in the American Southwest suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to a New Mexico hospital but died of acute respiratory failure within a few hours. He was already on the way to the cemetery – her fiance died the same death a few days earlier. On May 17, the official medical center identified three similar deaths in the Four Corners region where the borders of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet. All the victims have been young and healthy.

On May 18, the New Mexico Department of Health contacted United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help, but laboratory tests failed to find a disease known among the victims. CDC Special Pathogens Branch started a joint investigation with the state health department of New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah, and with the Indian Department of Health, the Navajo Nation, and the University of New Mexico.

hare
(Shown here) and the white-footed mouse (shown in the graphic title), carry
a virus that can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. (Image courtesy of
Center for Disease Control and Prevention).

Hantaviruses is a zoonosis, a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Strain found mainly in Asia and Europe affect the kidneys and can cause severe circulatory problems, but less than 10 percent of infected people die. Tensions in Four Corners outbreak, however, are different. Later named Sin Nombre virus, it causes many deadly diseases: Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Affect the heart and lungs, HPS has a mortality rate of 50 percent. Between 1993 and 1995, claimed the lives of more than 45 people in the southwestern United States.

This image shows the relative sizes of deer and white-footed mice scat, compared with cockroaches and rats roof. (Image courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

hantavirus-infected mice can transmit diseases to humans through the bites that break the skin, but this is quite rare. The virus is usually spread through the “aerosolization” – a process through which mice infected spread the virus through their saliva, feces, and urine, and humans inadvertently inhaling particles if they are turbulent.

Although about 30 percent of deer mice tested in the Four Corners region of investigation brought Sin Nombre virus, they are not sick or dying. A virus is not itself no favors by killing its host. “Smart” virus to coexist peacefully with their hosts, thereby extending the life of their own, and Sin Nombre virus may coevolved with rodent host to more than 20 million years. If humans suddenly contracted the virus, their contact with rodent carrier should be increased. Why?

“That’s what epidemiology is all about,” said Gregory Glass, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “We try to understand the factors that modify the risk of having the disease.”

Glass has used satellite data to map the animal populations since the 1970s. He realized that if he could map the distribution of the animal, it also can map the diseases they carry. To test the Four Corners hantavirus outbreaks, Glass used Landsat images, archived at NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). He also collaborated with researchers at the IBM Watson Research Center of Public Health of Earth Science Information Partners.

Understanding the Four Corners outbreak is not a simple matter of knowing where to look; Scientists also have to know when to look. “Bob Parmenter, an ecologist at the University of New Mexico showed that the rat population took some time to get large enough to cause disease in humans,” said Glass. “So the time will see the environment not when people fall ill, but probably before that.”

Rodents who brought Sin Nombre virus can fool funny, but allegedly the operator must be handled with extreme caution. (Image courtesy of Gregory Glass, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health).

“If you know where people when they got the disease, you can use satellite data to monitor the environmental conditions in which the outbreak occurred,” said Glass. “But there is a problem. You can, for example, concluded that the area where the sick have lots trees. Does it mean being around trees helps the spread of the disease, or whether it simply means that people like having the trees around their house? “He explained that the case-control study is one in which the environment and habits of people who become pain (cases) compared with those who did not contract the disease (controls).

Glass and fellow researchers estimate rainfall in 28 sites and 170 cases of the control site during the spring of 1992 and 1993. They then compared those data to the previous six-year precipitation using record rainfall of 196 weather station. They also investigated the Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite imagery collected years before the outbreak to estimate risk of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Glass and his colleagues published their findings in the May-June 2000 Emerging Infectious Diseases. What Glass discovered is that, while there is a relationship between rainfall and hantavirus, it’s not as simple as previously thought.

Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) consisting of government agencies, national laboratories, universities, nonprofit organizations, and commercial businesses.

The risk of hantavirus satellite data map project used archived on LP DAAC. LP DAAC is a member of type 1, like all DAACs NASA. IBM Watson Research Center is a member of Type 2.

For more information, visit.

“One of the complicating factors associated with remote sensing. In the semi-arid, like the Southwest US, the reading of the satellite does not fit well with the actual amount of vegetation. The image shows both the vegetation and soil bare, and depending on the the type of soil, you can get false readings, “says Glass. “Another factor that makes it difficult is the vegetation. I visited the Four Corners region during El Niño next in 1998 and 1999 and realize that the risk of disease does not depend on the vegetation, per se. Broad categories of vegetation for the high and low risk areas, but it was not simple matter said pinon juniper forests of high risk or low-lying salt bush low risk. ”

An important step in solving the puzzle, Glass said, to collect ground truth data. She began to overlay a map of risk from 1992 to 1998 to determine where high-risk areas remain, and he visited the sites with the CDC researchers to learn more about them. “Rats may be fussier than we think about where they live. The vegetation may look promising, but maybe the ground is too hard, so that the animals can not dig. Maybe there is not enough moisture in the soil. These are all things we have to find out, and public health officials need to be a scientist to understand the nuances of remote sensing imagery. ”

Another key to understanding the risk of hantavirus is to obtain more data. “We do not have sufficient statistical power to say much about the rainfall patterns have not,” said Glass. “An additional problem is that the data can be contaminated with past outbreaks of disease. I’m positive there are previous cases were simply not recognized.” CDC agreed. previous cases of Sin Nombre virus has been found in stored tissue samples taken from people who died of lung disease of unknown before the outbreak of 1993. Now, the earliest known cases of Sin Nombre virus have been confirmed in the Utah population of 38 years who died in 1959.

Is the public health officials to pay too much attention to diseases such as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome? “We do not have a lot of infectious diseases in the United States, so that even 30 or 40 people have died of something pretty scary,” said Glass. “You can compare the outbreak of the Four Corners to outbreaks of anthrax recently. Nobody knows where it came from or how many people will be affected. With hantavirus, we do not even know what it was or how it spread. So the problem isn ‘t that you have a large number of deaths, it is that you have many people who do not know whether they have been exposed. ”

1991-1992 El
Niño brings rainfall is very high for the Four Corners region in 1992.
This leads to an increase in vegetation and an increase in rodent hypothesis
population. Based on Landsat ETM + satellite imagery, this map of America
indicates a predicted risk for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in 1993.
Red and yellow indicate high-risk areas, and dark blue indicates low risk
area. (Pictures are from Glass et al.: Using remote sensing data to identify
Areas at Risk for HantaPulmonary Syndrome virus, 2000).

One of the conclusions reached Glass of research on zoonotic diseases is that outbreaks more easily tied to environmental conditions when the carrier arthropods. “Population dynamics of arthropods, such as mosquitoes, which is closely related to temperature and precipitation patterns. Vertebrates are generally larger, they can move more, and they can control their own body temperature. So while vertebrates necessarily respond to the environment, it is not clear how they respond . brand that predict hantavirus little more difficult. ”

Predicting accurately hantavirus outbreak that finally Glass hope to do. “You could just be extra careful and predict many outbreaks, but you can cause almost as much attention by over-predict as by lower predict. Businesses that rely on tourists, hikers, backpackers and campers really feel the current economic crisis predicted outbreaks.

“Being prepared for an outbreak to help reduce the economic and emotional losses were great,” Glass concluded. “Epidemiology has become a good detective tool, but it has not turned into a predictive science, remote sensing and ground truthing can improve the prediction. Once we understand the relationship between environment and disease, we should be able to estimate the disease at least as well as we predict the weather.”

References

Glass, Gregory E., James E. Cheek, Jonathan A. Patz, Timothy M. Shields, Timothy J. Doyle, Douglas A. Thoroughman, Darcy K. Hunt, Russell E. Enscore, Kenneth L , Gage, Charles Irland, CJ Peters and Ralph Bryan. 2000 .. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 6 (3).

of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed August 15, 2001.

Benefit Research Ecology (PDF file). Accessed January 9, 2002.

Nichol, Stuart T., Jiro Arikawa, and Yoshihiro Kawaoka. 2000. Emerging Viral Diseases. PNAS. 97 (23).

For more information

NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center ()

Last Updated: January 6, 2020 at 4:43 ET

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