Sin Nombre Virus

The Sin Nombre virus (SNV) is the agent of hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS). Originally called “Four Corners Virus” or “Navajo Flu”, but was changed after local residents objected.

Near the home of one of the initial patients, the virus was extracted from rodents. Other virus strains have been isolated form P. maniculatus associated with a fatal case in California. Black Creek Canal virus was isolated from a residence near a human case in Dade County, Florida. The Bayou Virus, another agent of HCPS, was isolated near Monroe, Louisiana.

SNV is found essentially in the entire US except for the far southeastern region but it can occur anywhere a rodent carrier is found. It is common in the western states especially where contact between humans and mice is high and in states where the rural population is high.

In 1993, the case fatality rate of SNV-induced HCPS was reported at about 66.7% in the USA. That number has steadily decreased. By extracting RNA from autopsy material the entire genomic sequence of SNV has been determined.