The Bunyaviridae family is the largest virus family with more than 350 registered viruses. Most bunyaviruses are found in tropical regions, some of them, however, cause human infections in the Old World. Hantaviruses comprise the only genus in the Bunyaviridae family appear that do not to have an arthropod vector. The authors present the most relevant viruses of the genus – both by reviewing the literature and on the basis of their own research. They point out the explosively increasing epidemiological significance of Dobrava- and Puumala-viruses in Central Europe, and draw attention to some unusual manifestations affecting the central nervous system.