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Are humans infected by Hantaviruses in Australia?

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Hantavirus antibody-positive rodents have been found across Australia although, to date, there are no reports of infections in humans. This could be due to misdiagnosis clinically and/or inadequate laboratory technique/skills. There are close trading ties between Australia and Asian countries as well as our geographical neighbours where both human and rodent infections are found, so importation is a continuing threat. We consider that further sero-epidemiological surveys are warranted among rodents (especially those captured from ports in Australia), in patients from renal and respiratory wards of hospitals, and in residents and employees close to harbours using more specific and sensitive laboratory techniques than have been available in the past. (Intern Med J 2005; 35: 672–674)
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Keywords: Australia; Hantavirus

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Public Health 2: Infectious Disease Laboratories, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, South Australia 3: School of Molecular and Biomedical Science, The University of Adelaide

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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