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Human exposure to particulate matter potentially contaminated with Sin Nombre Virus


Richardson, KS and Kuenzi, A and Douglass, RJ and Hart, J and Carver, S, Human exposure to particulate matter potentially contaminated with Sin Nombre Virus, EcoHealth, 10, (2) pp. 159-165. ISSN 1612-9202 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 International Association for Ecology and Health

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10393-013-0830-x


The most common mechanism for human exposure to hantaviruses throughout North America is inhalation of virally contaminated particulates. However, risk factors associated with exposure to particulates potentially contaminated with hantaviruses are generally not well understood. In North America, Sin Nombre virus (SNV) is the most common hantavirus that infects humans, causing hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which has a significant mortality rate (approximately 35%). We investigated human exposure to particulate matter and evaluated the effects of season, location (sylvan and peridomestic environment), and activity (walking and sweeping) on generation of particulates at the breathing zone (1.5 m above the ground). We found greater volumes of small inhalable particulates during the spring and summer compared to the fall and winter seasons and greater volumes of small inhalable particulates produced in peridomestic, compared to sylvan, environments. Also, greater volumes of particulates were generated at the breathing zone while walking compared to sweeping. Results suggest that more aerosolized particles were generated during the spring and summer months. Our findings suggest that simply moving around in buildings is a significant source of human exposure to particulates, potentially contaminated with SNV, during spring and summer seasons. These findings could be advanced by investigation of what particle sizes SNV is most likely to attach to, and where in the respiratory tract humans become infected.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Sin Nombre virus, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, exposure risk, deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, particulate matter
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Ecology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Air quality, atmosphere and weather
Objective Field:Air quality
UTAS Author:Carver, S (Associate Professor Scott Carver)
ID Code:85002
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2013-06-11
Last Modified:2018-05-04

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