Hantavirus Disease-Outbreak – Republic of Panama

De Faakto Outbreak Intelligence

From The World Health Organization

Hantavirus disease – Republic of Panama

04 January 2019

  • The Panama Ministry of Health has reported an increase in cases of hantavirus infection
  • Between 1 January and 22 December 2018, a total of 103 confirmed cases of hantavirus have been reported at the national level
  • 51 cases were classified as hantavirus fever (HF) without pulmonary syndrome
  • 48 cases were classified as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS)
  • 4 deaths from hantavirus


WHO risk assessment

  • HPS is a zoonotic, viral respiratory disease
  • Infections are acquired primarily through inhalation of aerosols or contact with the excreta, droppings or saliva of infected rodents
  • Symptoms of HPS typically occur from two to four weeks after initial exposure, though symptoms may appear as early as one week to as late as eight weeks following exposure
  • The case fatality rate can reach 50%


About Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

  • (HPS) is a severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory disease in humans caused by infection with hantaviruses.
  • Early symptoms: fever, headaches, muscle aches, stomach problems, dizziness, chills, fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in the large muscle groups—thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders
  • There may also be headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. About half of all HPS patients experience these symptoms (CDC)


Late Symptoms

  • Lungs fill with fluid, shortness of breath with the sensation of, as one survivor put it, a “…tight band around my chest and a pillow over my face” as the lungs fill with fluid (CDC)


Is the Disease Fatal?

  • Yes. HPS can be fatal. It has a mortality rate of 38% (CDC)


WHO https://www.who.int/csr/don/04-January-2019-hantavirus-panama/en/

CDC https://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/hps/symptoms.html

CDC https://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/pdf/hps_brochure.pdf