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Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheet covering various topics of health and safety at work, from the dangers of the disease to ergonomics for promotion at work. >
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Hantavirus is a virus that is found in urine, saliva, or feces of infected deer mice and some other rodents wild (rat cotton, rats rice in the United States United States southeast and mice-feet and red supported mice). It causes lung disease rare but serious called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). virus does not remain active for a long time once outside its host – less than one week in the outdoors and a few hours when exposed to direct sunlight.
Hantavirus was first identified in Canada in 1994. When researchers reviewed the previous cases, they were able to positively identify that there are at least three other cases occurred before 1994, the first in 1989. Since 1989 , there have been 109 confirmed cases of hantavirus and 27 deaths in Canada according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (as of January 2015).
People can contract hantavirus infection by inhalation of respirable droplets of saliva or urine, or through the dirt dust from infected wild rodents, especially the deer mouse. Transmission can also occur when contaminated material into the damaged skin, or may be, ingested in contaminated food or water. transmission from person to person in North America has not been reported. Some situations hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in South America shows the transmission from person to person is possible. However, the viruses isolated in South America are genetically distinct from those described in North America.
disease caused by hantavirus called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Symptoms appear within 1 to 5 weeks after exposure. the average is 2 to 4 weeks. This disease is very serious because about 40% of people who get the disease die. This disease starts as a flu-like illness. In the early stages, a worker may have fever, chills, muscle aches, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and digestion problems. However, the disease advances rapidly and people infected with abnormal decrease in blood pressure and their lungs will fill with fluid. severe respiratory failure, resulting in death, may occur within a few days of the symptoms of the early stages.
There is no specific vaccine, treatment or cure for hantavirus infection but early recognition and medical care in intensive care units may help the recovery. an infected person can be given for fever and pain medication and oxygen therapy.
The case of infection hantavirus contracted in Canada and the United States have been associated with this activity:
For the workers who may be exposed to rats as part of the task of their normal work, the employer is required to comply with health and safety regulations relevant work within their jurisdiction. Typically, employers are required to develop and implement the exposure control plan to eliminate or reduce the risks and dangers of hantavirus in their workplace.
Try to reduce the presence of rodents and limit contact with their feces, urine and saliva by:
Since infection in humans occurs through inhalation of contaminated materials, procedures, clean-up should be done by which limits the amount of dust in the air. Treating mice and droppings as potentially infected. People involved in general clean-up activities where no heavy accumulation of dirt must wear disposable protective clothing and gloves (neoprene, nitrile or latex-free), rubber boots and disposable N95 respirator. To clean areas contaminated with rodent heavy accumulation of dirt need to use a powered air purifying (PARP) or air-supplied respirators with P100 filters and eye or face protection to avoid contact with aerosols.
dead mice, nests and droppings should be soaked thoroughly with a 1:10 solution of sodium hypochlorite (household bleach). Bleach killed the virus and reduce the possibility of further transmission. Contaminated material must be placed in plastic bags and sealed for disposal. Hama by wet-wipe all surfaces of reusable respirators, gloves, rubber boots and sunglasses with a bleach solution. All wear protective clothing, gloves and a respirator should be placed in plastic bags and sealed for disposal. Please contact local environmental authorities regarding the approved disposal methods.
Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water after removing gloves.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia have guidelines that cover a variety of workplace situations. For more details regarding risk assessment and preventive measures for specific situations are not clear guidelines handled by a particular agency contacts responsible for the detailed information such as, for example, the local public health office.
. Public Health Agency of Canada
. Centers for Disease Control
. Worksafe BC
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© 1997-2020 Canadian Center for Occupational Health & Safety
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