Acute Communicable Disease Control

Contact Information
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Acute Communicable Disease Control
313 N. Figueroa Street, #212
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 240-7941
Fax: (213) 482-4856

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Acute Communicable Disease Control
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus through activities such as dusting or sweeping areas contaminated with rodent excrement. Hantavirus infections can be asymptomatic, cause a mild hantaviral illness or HPS. Supportive medical care is necessary since there is no specific treatment for the disease. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States. The virus strain most common in the western US is called Sin Nombre virus. The virus is not transmissible from person-to-person.

In California, the only rodent to transmit hantavirus is the deer mouse, Peromyiscus maniculatus. Deer mice commonly are found in natural grasslands, chaparral habitats and sparsely vegetated desert areas. Evidence of hantavirus in deer mice has been detected by Environmental Health previously in some parts of the Antelope Valley. Control of deer mice in and around homes and cabins remains the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infection. The common house mouse, or other rodents, does not carry this disease.

There have been a total of four confirmed human cases of the disease recorded in Los Angeles County since the disease recognition in 1993.



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