Cases of Clinically Proven Hantavirus Infection with a Pulmonary Syndrome among Pregnant Women in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Background: For nearly a decade, a disease likely to have been misdiagnosed was observed in pregnant women in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It caused the rapid decline and death of patients, with about 45% mortality rate. The disease was suspected to be caused by a virus of the HVP (Hantavirus) family, and clinical studies were conducted to ascertain.
Methods: As no system for registration of such cases had been maintained, researchers developed a questionnaire with indicators chiefly based on relevant literature. All the women admitted exhibiting the symptoms listed were covered by the study.
Results: Among the 16 cases identified from September to December 2008, ten survived; 80% belonged to the indigenous ethnic group; 80% were housewives. Most (90%) were between 16 and 34 weeks’ pregnancy, 24.5 weeks on average. Almost all of them experienced labored breathing and abnormally high body temperature. About 75% of the women lived in the vicinity of rodents’ habitats, and about half of them could have been in direct contact with the aerosolized rodent excreta.
Conclusions: Researchers believe that those women exposed to the excreta were cases of HPS. In practice, the surgical removal of the fetus proved to be the most efficient treatment. However, the medical community has a growing concern about patients with HPV being misdiagnosed and the related difficulties in diagnosing and treating them.
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Int J Biomed. 2012; 2(4):267-270. © 2012 International Medical Research and Development Corporation. All rights reserved.