Diagnosis and treatment of new world hantavirus infections

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2006 Oct;19(5):437-42. doi: 10.1097/01.qco.0000244048.38758.1f.


Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding the diagnosis and treatment of indigenous new world hantavirus infections.

Recent findings: Recent studies have defined the incubation period of new world hantavirus infections, provided additional evidence for person-to-person transmission of Andes virus, described a rapid method for the presumptive diagnosis of infection in the cardiopulmonary phase through a review of the peripheral smear, and suggested that intravenous ribavirin is probably not effective for the treatment of new world hantavirus infections when started in the cardiopulmonary phase.

Summary: Presumptive diagnosis may be made by a review of the peripheral blood smear after the onset of the cardiopulmonary phase. Critical care management includes the avoidance of fluid overload, pressors to maintain cardiac output, and the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in the most severe cases, but treatment with intravenous ribavirin is probably not effective.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hantavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Hantavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Hantavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Hantavirus* / classification
  • Hantavirus* / genetics
  • Hantavirus* / isolation & purification
  • Heart Diseases / virology*
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Edema / virology*
  • Syndrome