Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

ImageHantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a severe respiratory illness that can be deadly. It is caused by the Sin Nombre virus, one of a family of viruses that is found worldwide. It can be transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva.

Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States.

Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary strategy for preventing Hantavirus infection.

Frequently Asked Questions

This fact sheet answers frequently asked questions about Hantavirus including what it is, what the symptoms are, how it spreads, how long people are contagious, what treatments are available, and how to protect yourself from the virus.

Prevention Pamphlet

This helpful Hantavirus Prevention Pamphlet explains how to prevent Hantavirus. The steps include airing out and sealing up buildings, trapping mice, and cleaning up droppings and nests. It also describes what the symptoms of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome are.

Rodent-Proofing Techniques

Controlling rodents in buildings is possible, and can protect public health. Please read the Rodent Exclusion Manual for more information.

Manual for Investigation

This comprehensive Hantavirus Manual for Investigation provides all the information required to investigate Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome cases including a summary of the disease, agent details, mode of transmission, period of communicability, incubation period, diagnosis, treatment, surveillance, control measures, and more.

Physicians & Healthcare Workers

This Hantavirus Information for Physicians & Healthcare Workers document provides information about Hantavirus for New Mexico physicians and healthcare workers including clinical recognition, presumptive laboratory recognition, presumptive clinical and laboratory diagnosis, immediate consultation and referral, rapid diagnostic testing, and more.

Cases in the United States

As of January, 2017 a total of 728 cases of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome had been reported in the United States, from 36 states.

  • The mean age of confirmed case patients is 38 years. (range: 5 to 84 years)
  • The case fatality rate in the United States is 36%.

Activity in New Mexico

There have been two reported Human Cases of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in New Mexico in 2019.

There were no reported cases of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in New Mexico in 2018.

There were five reported Human Cases of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in New Mexico in 2017.

See the following news releases for more information:

Activity from Previous Years

  • There were eight reported case of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in New Mexico in 2016.
  • There was one reported case of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in New Mexico in 2015.
  • There were six reported cases of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in New Mexico in 2014.
  • New Mexico reported a total of 114 Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome cases with 49 deaths between 1975 and 2018.

New Mexico Case Data

Case data from previous years are archived below for historical reference.


Learn More

Please visit the CDC's Hantavirus Information page for more information about HPS.