Background: Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a rare cardiopulmonary disease that was first described after a 1993 epidemic in the southwestern United States. This study reviewed all cases reported in Texas to date.
Methods: We reviewed case report forms submitted to the Texas Department of State Health Services and medical records (when available) to determine demographic and clinical features of Texas HPS cases.
Conclusions: Middle-aged adults were more commonly affected. Respiratory symptoms were often accompanied by fever, gastrointestinal symptoms, and headache. Hypoxemia was observed in all cases. Common laboratory features included thrombocytopenia (92% of patients), elevated creatinine (61% of patients), increased polymorphonuclear leukocyte band forms (52% of patients), and hematocrit more than 55% (32% of patients). Most cases were associated with seeing rodents or rodent excreta at home. HPS was frequently misdiagnosed on initial presentation. Mortality was over 46%, higher for infection with the Sin Nombre virus (50%) than with the Bayou virus (0%). In Texas, the distribution of HPS is mainly along the coast and in west Texas.
* Patients with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) are most likely middle-aged adults who present with both respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms.
* A vast majority of patients report seeing evidence of rodents in or about their homes.
* Thirty-two percent of patients were initially sent home to return later with severe illness.
* Forty-six percent of Texas HPS patients died.
* HPS occurred more commonly in the high plains region than in other areas of Texas.