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Nephropathia epidemica (NE or epidemic nephropathy) is a type of viral haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) caused by the Puumala virus. The incubation period is three weeks. Nephropathia epidemica has a sudden onset with fever, abdominal pain, headache, back pain and gastrointestinal symptoms. More severe symptoms include internal hemorrhaging. Although fatal in a small percentage of cases, nephropathia epidemica is generally milder than the HFRS that is caused by hantaviruses in other parts of the world. The bank vole is the reservoir for the virus, which humans contract through inhalation of aerosolised vole droppings.
The majority of infected individuals are asymptomatic or develop only mild symptoms, and the disease is not known to spread from human to human.
- Rose A, Vapalahti O, Lyytikäinen O, Nuorti P. Patterns of Puumala virus infection in Finland. Euro Surveill. 2003;8(1):pii=394.
- Significant rise in number of Puumala virus cases in Southern Finland. Helsinki Sanomat Sep 29 2008.
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