Of Mice and Men: Why Hantavirus is so Deadly

Date Posted: November 24, 2009

Excerpt from Wall Street Journal online:

Rodent Riddles: Why Hantavirus Is So Deadly
Scientists Discover that Immune Response Is Key; Searching for a Way to Damp T-Cell Function

By Shirley S. Wang

It's unlikely you'll catch the hantavirus from drinking soda from a can or riding the New York subway, as some urban myths warn. But the deadly virus can still crop up in some innocent-seeming places.

Breathing in airborne excrement from some types of rats and mice—often unknowingly swept into the air by people cleaning out remote cabins or camping in the mountains—can cause infection from hantavirus. That, in turn, can lead to a rare but serious illness called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, or HPS...  Read full article