hantavirus cases in kentucky

  • 6 min read
  • Feb 17, 2020

Hantavirus Disease, by State of Reporting | Hantavirus | DHCPP | CDC
Hantavirus Disease, by State of Reporting | Hantavirus | DHCPP | CDC

Sunny to partly cloudy. High 79F. Wind S at 10 to 20 mph ..

A few clouds. Low 64F. Wind SSW at 10 to 15 mph

Updated :. March 26, 2020 @ 8:53

The deer mice, found almost everywhere in North America, is the carrier of hantavirus, which causes a rare but potentially fatal syndrome.

As the weather warms and people turn to spring cleaning and outdoor activities such as camping and hiking, they should be wary of the virus is rare but deadly spread through rat droppings and kills up to 40 percent of people infected, said public health officials.

severe respiratory disease known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, or HPS. In the United States, the majority of these cases are spread by deer mice, which live in the forests and deserts and is found throughout North America. People get the disease by inhaling hantavirus when dust from dried rodent urine, saliva and feces mixed in the air, which can occur in homes, garages and cabins, especially when cleaning. People can also get it by touching rat urine, droppings or nesting materials that contain a virus, and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.

HPS does not spread from human to human. There is no specific treatment, cure or vaccine for the infection. But if the infected individuals are recognized early and receive medical treatment in the intensive care unit, where they can be given oxygen therapy, they may have a better chance of recovery.

“Often in the spring, people are cleaning up their homes or around their property, and they are time when they may be exposed to more of rodent droppings,” said Annabelle de St Maurice, an epidemiology at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and author of the study published Wednesday Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal of the centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He urged people to take precautions and avoid sweeping or dusting rat droppings, because it makes it more likely that a person will inhale or ingest dust that carries the virus particles into the air. Instead, CDC recommends spraying the area with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water, and let it soak for five minutes before cleaning with gloves and paper towels.

The report analyzed 662 laboratory-confirmed cases of HPS in the United States between 1993 and 2015. Although the number of cases reported each year in the US are relatively low – typically between 20 and 40 – the disease occurs in all regions of the country except Alaska and Hawaii. And a high mortality rate. Of the 651 patients for whom information about their results recorded, 35 percent, or 230 patients, died, the study found.

Earlier this month, authorities in Washington state reported three cases of HPS in King County in five months. A woman 50s admitted to hospital with the disease. He is from the same suburb of Seattle as a man in his 30s who died of hantavirus in February, a day after going to the emergency room, according to King County public health officials. In November, a female deer mice exposed near his home in Redmond contracted the disease but survived, according to county health officials.

“We are not sure what might be responsible for this cluster of cases,” said Jeff Duchin, public health officer for Seattle and King County, according to The Issaquah Reporter. He speculated that the high amount of rainfall that might have provided more food for mice and may have led them to seek refuge in places such as houses, garages, sheds and vehicles, in which people can come into contact with them.

in 2012, an outbreak in Yosemite National Park infected 10 people, including three who died. The visitors stayed in the Curry Village area of ​​Yosemite in a tent cabin that has a layer of foam insulation between the drywall and exterior canvas. insulation infested with rats.

Most of the people who have been sick in the US during the 22-year period of the study exposed in their homes, especially in the western United States. Exposure in recreational settings is more common among patients who live in the eastern part of the country. And exposure in cars, trailers or mobile homes reported at about 7 percent of patients.

But the particular type of work also brings the risk of frequent exposure to rodents.

They include people who work in agriculture, such as farmers, ranchers andtemporary workers; electricians, carpenters, roofers, pest control personnel and others who work in construction; forestry and outdoor recreation jobs; oil drilling; and industrial cleaners, especially those who go to areas where there is a building or a car that had been left outside, or open buildings that have been closed before, like a summer cabin left.

Diseases recognized in 1993 after a series of respiratory death described occurred in healthy adults in the Four Corners area of ​​the United States (Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado). Since 1993, state and local health departments have provided data to the CDC for all laboratory confirmed cases of HPS.

Most of the patients were white, but Native Americans are disproportionately affected by rare diseases. They make up about 2 percent of the US population but 18 percent of cases of HPS, the study found. Because 89 percent of patients with HPS Native Americans lived in the Four Corners region, where most HPS cases occur, the report says there may be environmental factors that increase the risk of inhaling infected dust particles in the area.

disease hit Native American women, ages 40 to 64, very hard, killing up to 46 percent of those who get the disease. For comparison, the mortality rate for white women of the same age group is 33 percent.

“It’s hard to know why a higher rate among American Indians,” said de St Maurice. “We’re still trying to figure out why that is.”

Federal funding for American Indians and Alaska Natives are part of the Affordable Care Act, and health officials, tribal leaders and others say they worry that the repeal of the law could put at risk the health of Native Americans.

According to the CDC, based on a limited number of cases, symptoms can develop between one and eight weeks after exposure to urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents. Diagnosing the disease in someone who simply has been infected for several days challenging because early symptoms, such as fever, muscle aches, and fatigue easily confused with influenza. There may also be headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Four to 10 days later, more serious symptoms develop, such as cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

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