Sweating sickness, also known as the sweats, English sweating sickness, English sweat or sudor anglicus in Latin, was a mysterious and contagious disease that struck England and later continental Europe in a series of epidemics beginning in 1485. Other major outbreaks of the English sweating sickness occurred in 1508, 1517, and 1528, with the last outbreak in 1551, after which the disease apparently vanished. The onset of symptoms was sudden, with death often occurring within hours. Sweating sickness epidemics were unique compared with other disease outbreaks of the time: whereas other epidemics were typically urban and long-lasting, cases of sweating sickness spiked and receded very quickly, and heavily affected rural populations. Its cause remains unknown, although it has been suggested that an unknown species of hantavirus was responsible.