Hantavirus syndrome is an infection caused by hantavirus. It is a zoonosis that is transmitted directly or indirectly from animals to humans. The transmission between humans is very rare. In humans, there are two fatal diseases caused by hantavirus: Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS) and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). HFRS is found in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and HPS is found in North, Central and South America. In Taiwan, the number of sporadic cases (HFRS) range from 0 to 4 each year.
Hantavirus is a small single-stranded RNA virus. It could infect some animals, especially rodents, and be transmitted to human mainly through inhaling the aerosolized rodent excreta, including feces, urine, saliva. It is also transmitted through touching rodent excreta that contain the virus and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. Therefore, rodent distribution in the residence and work area is the critical risk factor.
The most effective protective measures are to eliminate or minimize contact with rodents at home or in the workplace, and clean up rodent urine, saliva and feces with a mixture of bleach and water.
In Taiwan, the number of sporadic cases (HFRS) range from 0 to 4 each year. Although Hantavirus syndrome is not endemic to Taiwan, the rodents are found throughout Taiwan. Infected rodents could lead to local transmission and outbreaks in Taiwan. Detection of Hantavirus syndrome cases by surveillance at an early stage is needed to implement early response activities and reduce risk for local transmission.
Hantavirus Syndrome Surveillance in Taiwan