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Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS)

Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) is a potentially fatal respiratory illness caused by a virus found in the saliva, urine, and droppings of some rodents. People can become infected with the virus by breathing contaminated dust, touching an infected rodent or rodent urine or droppings, or being bitten by an infected rodent.

Fever, fatigue, and muscle aches develop about 2 to 3 weeks after being exposed to the virus. A few days later, coughing and shortness of breath become severe as fluid builds up in the lungs (pulmonary edema). HCPS is diagnosed with laboratory tests.

Early treatment for HCPS is important for survival. Treatment includes supportive care for breathing and prevention of shock. HCPS can be prevented by avoiding contact with rodents and their droppings.