han·ta·vi·rus | \ ˈhän-tə-ˌvī-rəs , ˈhən- , ˈhan- \

Definition of hantavirus 

: any of a genus (Hantavirus) of bunyaviruses transmitted especially by rodent feces and urine and including viruses causing serious pulmonary disease or hemorrhagic fevers marked by renal necrosis

Examples of hantavirus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Image The death of a worker at the Belmont Park racetrack this month was the result of bacterial sepsis, not hantavirus, a rat-borne illness that was initially suspected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, "Hantavirus Was Not the Cause of Belmont Park Worker’s Death," 24 June 2018 Deer mice host hantavirus, and people contract it when fresh droppings, urine, saliva or nesting matter are disturbed, causing them to breathe in infectious materials. Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "Hantavirus linked to death of Placer County man," 31 May 2018 When hantavirus emerged in the Southwestern United States in 1993, for example, research using the museum’s collections showed that the disease was present in deer mice as far back as 1979. Daniel Fernandez, Smithsonian, "How Globalization Changed the Way We Fight Disease," 4 June 2018 No one is quite sure how Lane contracted hantavirus. Sarah Klein, Health.com, "This Woman Died From Hantavirus—a Rare Infection Initially Mistaken for the Flu," 27 Apr. 2018 Infected rodents shed hantavirus through their saliva, urine and feces. Gig Conaughton, Pomerado News, "Mice in 4S Ranch tested positive for hantavirus," 1 Mar. 2018 On February 5 — weeks after the symptoms began — doctors diagnosed Lane with hantavirus, a dangerous respiratory infection. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "New Mexico Mom, 27, Dies After Contracting Extremely Rare Rodent-Borne Virus," 1 May 2018 Doctors finally tested her for the rare hantavirus; results came back positive on February 5. Sarah Klein, Health.com, "This Woman Died From Hantavirus—a Rare Infection Initially Mistaken for the Flu," 27 Apr. 2018 Hantavirus case State officials are investigating whether Spencer Fry contracted hantavirus at Bodie State Historic Park. Cathie Anderson, sacbee, "He caught a rare, crippling virus at a state park. His dad fears a cover-up | The Sacramento Bee," 16 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hantavirus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of hantavirus

1984, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hantavirus

New Latin, from hanta- (from Hantaan, river in South Korea near where rodents carrying the virus were collected 1974–78) + virus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hantavirus

Share hantavirus

Dictionary Entries near hantavirus








Statistics for hantavirus

Last Updated

20 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hantavirus

The first known use of hantavirus was in 1984

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hantavirus


han·ta·vi·rus | \ ˈhan-tə-ˌvī-rəs , ˈhən- , ˈhän- \

Medical Definition of hantavirus 

1 capitalized : a genus of single-stranded RNA viruses of the family Bunyaviridae that infect specific rodents as their natural hosts and that include some forms causing hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in humans following exposure to the virus in airborne particles of rodent urine, feces, or saliva or directly by the bite of a rodent

2 : any virus (as the Hantaan virus) of the genus Hantavirus

More from Merriam-Webster on hantavirus

See words that rhyme with hantavirus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hantavirus

Comments on hantavirus

What made you want to look up hantavirus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by word of mouth

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!