News of the WeekVirology

Finally, a Handle on the Hantaviruses

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Science  24 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5534, pp. 1414-1415
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5534.1414b

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A group of U.S. Army virologists has found an animal model to study hantaviruses, a fearsome group of rodent-borne pathogens that cause disease and death across the globe. In a paper accepted by the journal Virology, they report that Syrian hamsters get sick and die when injected with a hantavirus from South America--and that the animals' disease looks strikingly like hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, one lethal manifestation of the infection in humans.