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Hantavirus disease – Republic of Panama

The Panama Ministry of Health has reported an increase in cases of hantavirus infection in Los Santos Province, Republic of Panama, to the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). Between 1 January and 22 December 2018, a total of 103 confirmed cases of hantavirus have been reported at the national level, 99 of which were reported in Los Santos Province. In Los Santos Province, 51 cases were classified as hantavirus fever1 (HF) without pulmonary syndrome and 48 cases were classified as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome2 (HPS), including four deaths. Cases were confirmed by serology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)3. Sequencing determined that the type of virus associated with this outbreak is Choclo virus. It was first isolated in 1999 in the western Republic of Panama.

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