Human Hantavirus Infections, Sweden

Emerg Infect Dis. 2003 Nov;9(11):1395-401. doi: 10.3201/eid0911.030275.

Abstract

The prevalent human hantavirus disease in Sweden is nephropathia epidemica, which is caused by Puumala virus and shed by infected bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus). To evaluate temporal and spatial patterns of this disease, we studied 2,468 reported cases from a highly disease-endemic region in northern Sweden. We found that, in particular, middle-aged men living in rural dwellings near coastal areas were overrepresented. The case-patients were most often infected in late autumn, when engaged in activities near or within manmade rodent refuges. Of 862 case-patients confident about the site of virus exposure, 50% were concentrated within 5% of the study area. The incidence of nephropathia epidemica was significantly correlated with bank vole numbers within monitored rodent populations in part of the region. Understanding this relationship may help forestall future human hantavirus outbreaks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Arvicolinae
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / epidemiology*
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / transmission
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / virology
  • Female
  • Hantavirus / pathogenicity*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome / transmission
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population
  • Seasons
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology