THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals in certain occupations and in certain populations may be more at risk of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, according to research published in the May issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Annabelle de St. Maurice, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues assessed demographics and rodent exposure settings for 662 case-patients with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome during 1993 to 2015 using national surveillance system data.
The researchers found that 18 percent of case-patients were American-Indians, and case-fatality rates were higher for American-Indians than for whites (46 versus 33 percent). Rodent exposures were reported by case-patients in the home, at work, or in a recreational setting (71, 32, and 24 percent, respectively); 7 percent of rodent exposures were attributed to cars, trailers, or mobile homes. In 17 percent of cases, patients reported having cleaned rodent-infected areas. Fifty-three percent of those whose exposure was work related had jobs with potential risks for rodent exposure. Case-patients residing in the eastern United States had a significantly higher proportion of recreational exposures than in the western United States (47 versus 23 percent).
"Regionally and culturally appropriate educational materials can be used to direct prevention messages to persons in these risk groups," the authors write.
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