19 SEPTEMBER. CHILE AND PERU: HANTA VIRUS

Chile reports 23 cases (14 fatal) of hanta virus in both the northern and southern ends of the country, with a possible (but unverified) case in Vina del Mar in the center. Peru reports a possible case, in Mollendo, southern Peru, a Chilean. (Unfortunately Peruvian, Ecuadorian and Chilean authorities are treating the disease as one that can spread from region to region. In reality it is instead a disease likely to 'lurk' in rodent populations, emerging only sporadically, such as when rodent populations balloon during rainfalls associated with ENSO events. It is not clear that this has happened. Reports on rodent populations from western South America would be very useful--ed) --from Dave Coder <dcoder@u.washington.edu> and Mario Cornejo <mcornejg@ucsm.edu.pe> on ProMED <promed@usa.healthnet.org>

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