In the past 25 years, laboratories have encountered a wide range of diseases and infectious agents. Some have been conquered; others remain formidable challenges. These diseases and progress in the fight against them are highlighted…

In mid-1993, an unusual respiratory illness was recognized in people living in New Mexico. Healthy young adults were stricken with flu-like symptoms, after which their capillaries leaked fluid into their lungs, leading to death. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is caused by a hantavirus carried primarily by deer mice. Initial cases were identified in the Four Corners region, the area in which New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona share borders. The virus kills about 55% of those infected. As of Aug. 31, 1994, 91 cases of HPS had been confirmed in 20 states. There have been 48 fatalities.
—by Benjamin Ortiz
Laboratory Medicine [the re-design issue], January 1995
[NOTE: The “Trends in Disease” series comes from my first job out of grad school, when I embarked on an odyssey of research to cover the great maladies and plagues of the day.]

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