Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome



What is hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome?

Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is a group of clinically similar diseases caused by hanta viruses from the family. The viruses that cause HFRS include Hantan, Dobrava, Saaremaa, Seoul, and Puumala.

HFRS is found throughout the world. Hantan virus is widely common located in eastern Asia, particularly in China, Russia, and Korea. In the Americas, hanta viruses cause a different disease known as hanta virus pulmonary syndrome (The disease was characterized by rapid onset of pulmonary edema followed by respiratory failure and cardiogenic shock).

How common is hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome?

Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is one of the most common infectious diseases globally. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome?

The common symptoms of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome are:

  • Intense headaches
  • Back and abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Flushing of the face
  • Inflammation or redness of the eyes
  • Rash
  • Low blood pressure
  • Acute shock
  • Vascular leakage
  • Acute kidney failure

When the patients exposure to the infectious matters, the symptoms can usually happen within 2 weeks, but sometimes may take 8 weeks to happen.Hantaan and Dobrava virus infections usually cause severe symptoms, while Seoul, Saaremaa, and Puumala virus infections are usually more moderate. Complete recovery can take weeks or months.

The course of the illness can be split into five phases:

  1. Febrile phase: Symptoms include redness of cheeks and nose, fever, chills, sweaty palms, diarrhea, malaise, headaches, nausea, abdominal and back pain, respiratory problems. These symptoms may be similar to the influenza virus, as well as gastro-intestinal problems. These symptoms normally occur for three to seven days and increase steadily two to three weeks after exposure.
  2. Hypotensive phase: This phase occurs when the blood platelet levels drop and symptoms can lead to tachycardia and hypoxemia. This phase can last for 2 days.
  3. Oliguric phase (Low output of urine): This phase lasts for three to seven days and is characterised by the onset of renal failure and proteinuria.
  4. Diuretic phase: This is characterized by diuresis of three to six litres per day, which can last for a couple of days up to weeks.
  5. Convalescent phase: This is normally when recovery occurs and symptoms begin to improve.

This syndrome can also be fatal. In some cases, it has been known to cause permanent renal failure.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above orhave any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.


What causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome?

Hantaviruses are carried and transmitted by rodents. People can become infected with these viruses and develop HFRS after exposure to aerosolized urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents or after exposure to dust from their nests.

Transmission may also occur when infected urine or these other materials are directly introduced into broken skin. In addition, individuals who work with live rodents can be exposed to hanta viruses through rodent bites from infected animals.

Transmission from one human to another may occur, but is extremely rare.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome?

There are many risk factors for hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, such as:

  • Locations: The severe form of hemorrhagic fever with renal failure syndrome occurs in China, Japan, and Singapore. The number of cases reported in China is approximately 100,000-250,000 per year
  • Sex: The increased incidence in male individuals is caused by their probable increased frequency of outdoor activities, which leads to contact with infected rodents.
  • Age: Hemorrhagic fever with renal failure syndrome is commonly reported in persons older than 15 years. In children and adolescents younger than 15 years, the disease is mild and often subclinical.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome diagnosed?

Several laboratory tests are used to confirm a diagnosis of HFRS in patients who have a clinical history compatible with the disease. Such patients are determined to have HFRS if they have serologic test results positive for hantavirus infection.

· Using immunehistochemical staining and microscope examination to determine the evidence of hantavirus antigen in tissue.

How is hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome treated?

There isn’t any certain treatment or vaccine for HFRS. Treatment involves supportive therapy including renal dialysis (to correct severe fluid overload).

Care includes careful management of the patient’s fluid (hydration) and electrolyte (e.g., sodium, potassium, chloride) levels, maintenance of correct oxygen and blood pressure levels, and appropriate treatment of any secondary infections.

Dialysis may be required to correct severe fluid overload.

In the early phase of this disease, intravenous ribavirin, an antiviral drug, has been shown to decrease illness and death associated with HFRS.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome:

  • Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary prevention strategy, as well as eliminating contact with rodents in the workplace and campsite.
  • Closed storage sheds and cabins are often ideal sites for rodent infestations.
  • Airing out of such spaces prior to use is recommended.
  • Avoid direct contact with rodent droppings and wear a mask to avoid inhalation of aerosolized rodent secretions

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: August 16, 2017 | Last Modified: August 16, 2017