Genetic analysis of virus detected in autopsy tissues of a fatal hantavirus pulmonary syndrome-like case in Louisiana revealed the presence of a previously unrecognized hantavirus. Nucleotide sequence analysis of PCR fragments of the complete S and M segments of the virus amplified from RNA extracted from the tissues showed the virus to be novel, differing from the closest related hantavirus, Sin Nombre virus, by approximately 30%. Both genome segments were unique, and there was no evidence of genetic reassortment with previously characterized hantaviruses. The primary rodent reservoir of Sin Nombre virus, the deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus, is absent from Louisiana. Thus, the virus detected in Louisiana, referred to here as Bayou virus, must possess a different rodent reservoir.