Hantaviruses are associated with two human diseases, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Development of vaccines and therapies to prevent and treat HFRS and HPS have been hampered by the absence of a practical animal model. Here we report that Andes virus (ANDV), a South American hantavirus, is highly lethal in adult Syrian hamsters. The characteristics of the disease in hamsters, including the incubation period, symptoms of rapidly progressing respiratory distress, and pathologic findings of pulmonary edema and pleural effusion, closely resemble HPS in humans. This is the first report of a lethal disease model for hantaviruses that causes HPS.