Hantavirus is a genus of viruses in the Bunyaviridae family. The primary species of hantavirus in the American Southwest is Sin Nombre Virus (SNV). Its main host, the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), can carry the virus in feces, urine, and saliva. The most common mode of transmission to humans is inhalation of aerosolized particles containing the virus. SNV is highly pathogenic, causing most people who are infected to develop hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. The syndrome consists of two phases – a prodromal phase characterized by fever, headache, and myalgia, sometimes accompanied by abdominal pain, vomiting, and/or diarrhea, and a second phase characterized by shock, hypotension, and pulmonary edema.
Invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS)
Bacteria called group A Streptococcus can cause many different infections. Some of these are common, relatively minor infections, like strep throat. Invasive group A Streptococcus (iGAS) can cause severe invasive diseases, such as necrotizing fasciitis, streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, and sepsis. People can easily spread group A Streptococcus to other people. Practicing good hygiene, like washing your hands often, is the best way to protect yourself from group A Streptococcus infections.
• Hypervirulent emm59 Clone in iGAS Outbreak, SW US, 2015
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment. So once you get HIV, you have it for life. HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. Untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body, making the person more likely to get other infections or infection-related cancers. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. These opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that the person has AIDS, the last stage of HIV infection.