Person-to-person household and nosocomial transmission of andes hantavirus, Southern Chile, 2011

Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Oct;20(10):1629-36. doi: 10.3201/eid2010.140353.


Andes hantavirus (ANDV) causes hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome in Chile and is the only hantavirus for which person-to-person transmission has been proven. We describe an outbreak of 5 human cases of ANDV infection in which symptoms developed in 2 household contacts and 2 health care workers after exposure to the index case-patient. Results of an epidemiologic investigation and sequence analysis of the virus isolates support person-to-person transmission of ANDV for the 4 secondary case-patients, including nosocomial transmission for the 2 health care workers. Health care personnel who have direct contact with ANDV case-patients or their body fluids should take precautions to prevent transmission of the virus. In addition, because the incubation period of ANDV after environmental exposure is longer than that for person-to-person exposure, all persons exposed to a confirmed ANDV case-patient or with possible environmental exposure to the virus should be monitored for 42 days for clinical symptoms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Chile / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / transmission
  • Cross Infection / virology*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Hantavirus / classification
  • Hantavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Hantavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Hantavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Hantavirus Infections / virology
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged