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Hantavirus: Questions Your Doctor May Ask

Topic Overview

Medical history

If your doctor suspects you might have hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) and you have symptoms such as a sudden fever and muscle aches, he or she may ask you the following questions.

Within the past 5 weeks, have you:

  • Lived in or visited an area in which HPS cases have been diagnosed this year, especially in the southwestern United States?
  • Cleaned barns or other outbuildings?
  • Lived in buildings where rodents are nesting?
  • Lived in or visited an area that has a large rodent population?
  • Lived or stayed in a cabin or other dwelling that has been vacant?
  • Lived in or visited a rural area?
  • Farmed or worked in areas near where rodents normally live?

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, you may have come in contact with rodents that carry the virus that causes HPS.

If you have flu-like symptoms, no other signs of HPS (such as severe breathing problems or heart failure), and no risk factors for HPS, no further testing will be done. It is appropriate to monitor your symptoms in case they become worse. Your doctor may send you home with instructions about when to call if your symptoms become worse.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology
Last Revised February 22, 2012

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