Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

Threat of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome to field biologists working with small mammals.

  • Author(s): Kelt, Douglas A;
  • Van Vuren, Dirk H;
  • Hafner, Mark S;
  • Danielson, Brent J;
  • Kelly, Marcella J
  • et al.

Low risk for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) has been reported among biologists engaged in fieldwork with rodents. The overall probability of acquiring HPS when working with rodents appears to be 1 in 1,412 (0.00071). Nonetheless, a causal link between HPS and lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) use is suggested by some investigators. However, supporting data are incomplete and consequently misleading. A recent HPS case was assumed to be acquired during rodent-handling activities, although substantial peridomestic exposure was evident. Regulatory groups interpret inadequate data as evidence of the need for excessive and inappropriate PPE, which can hamper field research and instructional efforts. PPE recommendations should be reviewed and revised to match the risk associated with different types of fieldwork with small mammals.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View