An outbreak of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in western Paraguay

R. Joel Williams, Ralph T. Bryan, James N. Mills, R. Eduardo Palma, Ivan Vera, Floria De Velasquez, Eugenio Baez, Wesley E. Schmidt, Ruben E. Figueroa, Clarence J. Peters, Sherif R. Zaki, Ali S. Khan, Thomas G. Ksiazek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


During an investigation of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in Paraguay in 1995, sera from persons with HPS-like illness, houshold contacts of confirmed HPS case-patients, and a sample of the area residents were analyzed by ELISA for antibodies to Sin Nombre virus (SNV). Rodent serosurveys and analysis of precipitation records were also conducted. Twenty-three of 24 available probable cases were SNV antibody-positive, 17 of whom were ill between July 1995 and January 1996. Four (14.8%) of 27 case- contacts and 44 (12.8%) of 345 community residents were also seropositive. Calomys laucha (vesper mouse) was the most common rodent species captured and the most frequently SNV-seropositive. Rainfall in May 1995 was 10-fold greater than that seen in May over the preceding 11 years. This 17 case- cluster represents the largest documented outbreak since HPS was first recognized in 1993. Calomys laucha is the likely primary rodent reservoir for a SNV-like hantavirus in western Paraguay. Fluctuations in monthly precipitation rates may have contributed to increased risk for HPS in this region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-282
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Parasitology


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