Exposure Characteristics of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome Patients, United States, 1993–2015 Navajo Epidemiology Center (NEC) Director Del Yazzie contributed to this this collaborative effort between tribal, state and federal agencies. The data was provided by CDC’s Hantavirus surveillance system and prevention education efforts are ongoing on the Navajo Nation.

Excerpt from Synopsis:

Rodents can transmit hantaviruses to humans. In the Americas, human infection causes severe respiratory illness known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Using national surveillance system data, we assessed demographics and rodent exposure settings for 662 case-patients during 1993–2015. American Indians accounted for 18% of case-patients, and case-fatality rates for this population (46%) were higher than those for whites (33%).


Case-patients reported rodent exposures in the home (71%), at work (32%), or in a recreational setting (24%).


Cars, trailers, or mobile homes accounted for 7% of rodent exposures; 17% of case patients reported having cleaned rodent-infested areas. Of those whose exposure was work related, 53% had jobs with potential risk for rodent exposure. The proportion of recreational exposures was significantly higher among case-patients residing in the eastern (47%) than in the western (23%) United States. Regionally and culturally appropriate educational materials can be used to direct prevention messages to persons in these risk groups.


Read the complete article on the CDC website.

* Author affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (A. de St. Maurice, E. Ervin, C. Manning, P. Rollin, B. Knust); Coconino County Public Health Services District, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA (M. Schumacher); Arizona Department of Health Services, Phoenix, Arizona, USA (H. Yaglom, K. Komatsu); New Mexico Department of Health, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA (E. VinHatton, S. Melman, P. Ettestad); Colorado Department of Health, Denver, Colorado, USA (J. House); Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA (D. Peterson); National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA (D. Buttke); Navajo Department of Health, Window Rock, Arizona, USA (A. Ryan, D. Yazzie)

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