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  • Hantavirus Infection in Southwest Utah
    by kcsg.com news
    Published - 04/04/14 - 12:53 PM | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Deer mouse. SWUH Photo
    Deer mouse. SWUH Photo
    (ST. GEORGE, Utah) – The Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) has confirmed a case of hantavirus infection in Kane County. Hantavirus incidences are rare in the five-county region, with the last case being reported four years ago in Iron County. The virus is found in the droppings, urine, and saliva of rodents, usually deer-mice.

    "This time of year, a lot of people start spring cleaning in places where rodent droppings are found; such as sheds, barns, and cabins," says Dr. David Blodgett, SWUPHD Health Officer. "If hantavirus is present, it can be inhaled and cause respiratory illness within a few weeks."

    Hantavirus infection, called Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, starts with flu-like symptoms followed by difficulty breathing and can be life-threatening. Treatment includes intensive hospital care to deal with the respiratory distress. Hantavirus is not known to spread person-to-person.

    Hantavirus infection can be prevented by avoiding contact with rodents, including nests and droppings.

    • Seal openings in structures and set mouse traps.

    • Allow an infested area to air out for at least thirty minutes before cleaning.

    • Clean droppings by spraying with disinfectant (one part bleach to ten parts water works well), then wipe up with disposable paper towels.

    • Wear gloves while cleaning or when handling nests or dead mice.

    For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/hantavirus.

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