hantavirus outbreak usa

  • 5 min read
  • Feb 18, 2020

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

Four Corners hantavirus outbreak in 1993 was the outbreak that led to the first known case of hantavirus disease in. It happens in this region – the geographical intersection of US states ,,, and – part of the country in mid 1993. The area is mostly occupied by the tribal lands, including ,,, and, from where many cases were reported.

The cause of the outbreak was found to be a previously unknown species, which is responsible for a new form of the disease known as or HPS. The virus is carried by. Originally referred to as the “Four Corners virus”, “Muerto Canyon virus”, and “Prisoners virus Creek”, was later named. Transmission to humans is found to have occurred through contact with deer mice droppings in enclosed spaces in and around the victim’s home.

In April 1993, a young woman arrives in the emergency room at the Indian Medical Center, complaining-like symptoms and sudden, severe shortness of breath. Doctors found her lungs become full of fluid, and he died shortly after his arrival. An autopsy revealed the woman’s lungs to be twice the normal weight for someone of his age. The cause of death could not be immediately determined, and the case was reported to the New Mexico Department of Health.

Five days later, her fiancé, a young Navajo, was on his way to a funeral in Gallup when he suddenly became very short of breath. By paramedics when carrying it to the emergency room Indian Medical Center, he had stopped breathing and paramedics were doing. Youth can not be revived by doctors and died. The doctors, given the similar symptoms and death of a young woman, reported the death to the New Mexico Department of Health.

New Mexico state health officials notified (CDC). Within a week, the task force has been formed that includes Bruce Tempest, chief of medicine at the Indian Medical Center. Tempest quickly discovered that five people, including the young man’s fiancée, and a resident of Arizona, all experience the same symptoms and all died within six months. Tempest learned from family members young fiancee had similar symptoms and died on the Navajo Reservation five days earlier. Death on the reservation was not reported to the state health department because they are sovereign nations. Tempest has been considered as a possible cause for endemic to the area, but has been ruled out by tests on all the victims. In a short time, a dozen more people infected with a mysterious disease, most of them young Navajo, New Mexico. It includes two families of young couples who have died within a week of each other.

News outlets began reporting on the story of a mysterious disease that causes death among young Navajo, often use the term “flu Navajo”. Hearing the news reports, doctors told health officials say that sounds a lot like the hantavirus disease, which has been observed in Korea in the 1950s.

Centers for Disease Control tested for hantavirus although Asia and Europe is the only documented hantavirus has been known to occur. There are no known cases have been reported in the United States. In addition, all cases in Asia and Europe have engaged hantaviruses that cause kidney failure, never failing breath. Tests revealed a previously unknown hantavirus were eventually named Sin Nombre virus, Spanish for “No Name” virus. This disease became officially known as (HCP) or just hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).

Several theories were advanced to explain the emergence of the new virus. These include increasing contact between humans and rats because “bumper crop” in the population of deer mice. Another theory is that something in the virus has changed, allowing it to jump to humans. A third theory is that nothing has changed, that the actual hantavirus cases have occurred previously but was not diagnosed correctly. This last theory turned out to be correct when it was found that the first known case has actually happened to a Utah man 38 years in 1959.

As the Korean virus, Sin Nombre virus is not person-to-person spread. Instead, transmission occurs when people are exposed to air contaminated with rat droppings aerosol, usually in a confined space. All the victims Four Corners was found to have a large infestation deer rats in and around their homes.

Doctors reported that all patients Four Corners have mild flu-like symptoms such as malaise, headache, cough, and fever, suddenly require a ventilator before eventually cause death. From April to May 1993, there were 24 cases reported in the region. Twelve of the dead, so the death rate of 50%. Of the 24 patients, 14 were Native Americans, nine non-Hispanic whites and one Hispanic.

Navajo leaders reported that a similar outbreak occurred in 1918, 1933 and 1934. The story of the Navajo tribe has identified rats as a source of bad luck and disease since the 19th century.

hantavirus outbreaks are used as background in the fictional novel “Tourette Healing Quest”, in which he noted that Native American healers of the area four corners meet, pray and odd September blizzard shut down the transmission of the virus.

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