Who Is Affected by Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

Through July 5, 2011, 572 cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) had been reported in the United States.footnote 1

  • HPS affects both genders, although males are at a higher risk of developing the illness (63% male and 37% female).
  • 78% of the people with HPS have been white, 18% have been American Indian, 2% have been African American, and 1% have been Asian.

Although the majority of HPS cases occur in the southwestern United States, cases have been reported in 33 states.footnote 1 Most people who develop HPS either live in rural areas or have visited rural areas during the 4 weeks before symptoms of the illness appear.

Other countries also have had confirmed cases of HPS, including:footnote 2

  • Canada, mainly in the western provinces.
  • South American countries Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, and Bolivia.
  • Panama.


  1. National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011). Reported cases of HPS. Hantaviruses. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/surveillance/index.html.
  2. World Health Organization (2004). Number of Cases of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) (Region of the Americas, 1993–2004). Available online: http://www.paho.org/common/Display.asp?Lang=E&RecID=1971.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRobert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology

Current as ofJune 4, 2014