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Member of the Bunyavirus family, enveloped virus with three, spherical -ssRNA segments.

Growth Conditions

Cell culture

Health Hazards

Host Range

Field rodents (mice, rats, voles, lemmings) and mammals including humans.

Modes of Transmission

Aerosol transmission from infected rodents via urine, feces, and saliva. Virus may also be transmitted by contact with mucous membranes, broken skin and bite of an infected host. Human to human transmission is very rare and has not occurred in the US.

Signs and Symptoms

Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS): Fever, conjunctival injection, prostration, lower back and abdominal pain, anorexia and vomiting. After 3-6 days, hemorrhagic manifestation occurs and is followed by hypotension, proteinuria, and shock.

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS): Disease begins with fever, chills, myalgia, and hypotension. Death then occurs in approximately 35% of US cases due to pulmonary edema and shock.

Infectious Dose


Incubation Period

3-60 days. 2 to 4 weeks (range from few days to 2 months) for HFRS; and 14-17 days for HPS

Medical Precautions/Treatment


None available


None available


Ribavirin giving IV may be effective for HFRS. No treatment available for HPS (only supportive therapy).


Monitor for symptoms and test using serology.

Emory Requirements

Report all exposures.

Laboratory Hazards

Laboratory Acquired Infections (LAIs)

There have been documented occupational exposures to Old World hantaviruses by laboratory personnel.


Aerosol and droplet exposure from urine, respiratory secretions, saliva, and feces of mice and rats, parenteral inoculation, and rodent bites.

Supplemental References

Canadian MSDS

Pathogen Safety Data Sheets


Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories

CDC Guidelines

Hantavirus Information

International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses

ICTV Information

Containment Requirements


Manipulation of sera from potentially infected humans.


Manipulation of potentially infected tissue samples and rodent serum.


Manipulation of cell cultures.


Animal studies involving infected rodents that cannot excrete the virus.


Viral inoculation of rodents susceptible to chronic infection

Spill Procedures


Notify others working in the lab. Allow aerosols to settle. Don appropriate PPE. Cover area of the spill with paper towels and apply an EPA registered disinfectant, working from the perimeter towards the center. Follow the manufacturer's label instructions to determine the amount of contact time required before disposal and cleanup of spill materials.


Contact Emory's Biosafety Officer (404-727-8863),
the EHSO Office (404-727-5922), or
The Spill Response Team (404-727-2888).

Exposure Procedures

Mucous membrane

Flush eyes, mouth or nose for 15 minutes at eyewash station.

Other Exposures

Wash area with soap and water for 15 minutes.


Immediately report incident to supervisor, complete an employee incident report in PeopleSoft.

Medical Followup 

7am-4pm (OIM): EUH (404-686-7941) EUHM (404-686-7106) WW (404-728-6431)

After Hours: OIM NP On Call 404-686-5500 PIC# 50464

Needle Stick (OIM): EUH (404-686-8587) EUHM (404-686-2352)

Yerkes: Maureen Thompson Office (404-727-8012) Cell (404-275-0963)



Susceptible to 1% sodium hypochlorite, 70% ethanol, and 2% gluteraldehyde.


Inactivated by heat (1 hour at 60°C) and acidic conditions (pH≤5).

Survival Outside Host

Dried cell cultures (2 days), salt solutions with 1% bovine albumin at -60°C (5 years).

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Minimum PPE Requirements

At a minimum, personnel are required to don gloves, closed toed shoes, lab coat, and appropriate face/eye protection prior to working with DA. Additional PPE may be required depending on lab specific SOPs.

Additional Precautions

Depending on the risk assessment, respirators may be required when working with conotoxins. Fit testing and training is required annually per Emory's Respiratory Program (PDF)