Arenavirus The Arenaviridae are a family of viruses whose members are generally associated with rodent-transmitted diseases in humans. Each virus usually is associated with a particular rodent host species in which it is maintained. Arenavirus infections are relatively common in humans in some areas of the world and can cause severe illnesses. The virus particles are spherical and have an average diameter of 110-130 nanometers. Their genome, or genetic material, is composed of RNA only, and while their replication strategy is not completely understood, we know that new viral particles, called virions, are created by budding from the surface of their hosts' cells.