deer mouse hantavirus ontario

  • 3 min read
  • Feb 10, 2020

Spring cleaning brings risk of hantavirus | CBC News
Spring cleaning brings risk of hantavirus | CBC News

Department of Long-Term Care HealthMinistry

It is a virus that can cause a rare but serious lung disease called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). This virus was first discovered in people in 1993 but may have been there for years.

The first case was in a rural area in the southwestern United States. The US reported fewer than 35 cases per year, while Canada reported approximately three cases per year. No cases have been confirmed east of Saskatchewan.

Rodents may carry the virus, especially deer mice. infected mice shed virus in their urine, saliva and feces (stool).

The deer mouse

The deer mice pale gray, with white fur on their bellies. They live mainly in rural and semi-rural wooded area. They are generally not found in urban areas.

Health Canada has found a virus in a very small percentage of deer mice tested in Northern Ontario.

You get HPS possibility is very low. Only rarely do people exposed to the virus-infected

People can be exposed to the virus in several ways :.

The virus does not pass from person to person. There is no evidence that the virus is spread through food, water or insects, such as ticks, black flies and mosquitoes. Pets and livestock do not catch the virus so that these animals can not pass it on to people.

Most people in Ontario will never be exposed to hantavirus. People who are in very close contact with deer mice can increase their chances of getting the disease.

Spending time where deer live mice can increase the likelihood of exposure. This area includes hiking trails, empty buildings or cottages, barns and fields.

HPS begins with fever, chills, headache and muscle aches. As the disease worsens it becomes difficult to breathe.

If you get any of these symptoms and shortness of breath within six weeks of exposure to deer mice, the doctor immediately. Symptoms usually begin within two weeks. But they can start as early as three days or the end of the six weeks after infection.

Early diagnosis helps in the successful treatment of symptoms. Vaccine research is ongoing.

The easiest way is to limit your contact with deer mice and their droppings, urine or saliva. They are attracted to areas where they can find food, water and shelter. It is wise to follow these tips anywhere there is a large number of rats

The local contact for more information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at ..:
1-866-532-3161 (toll-free in Ontario only)
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation: 8: 30-05: 00

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– Last Modified: 10/11/2015

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