hantavirus cases in los angeles

  • 4 min read
  • Feb 03, 2020

Department of Public Health - Acute Communicable Disease Control
Department of Public Health – Acute Communicable Disease Control

In the first case documented ever in Ventura County, a man Simi Valley 27-year-old has contracted the potentially fatal hantavirus, public health officials reported Thursday.

The man was recovering Thursday after he was hospitalized in Simi Valley on May 17. He had been on a ventilator for more than a week after showing some symptoms of the disease, officials said

Thursday , that man -. whose name was not released –was conscious and breathing on his own, a sign he will fully recover, experts say.

“One day you’re on the verge of death and the next you start breathing on his own,” said Dr. Curtis Fritz, an epidemiologist for the state Department of Health Services who worked on the case. “It’s all a reversible process if you do not die.”

diagnosis of the man, who was officially confirmed Wednesday night during laboratory tests conducted by the office of Fritz, the fourth hantavirus case marks the country this year and the 29th since officials began tracking in 1993. The infection in 14 of 29 cases , the patient died.

Although finding rodents infected at several locations in Ventura County for many years, including in Wheeler Springs above Ojai, Montalvo in Ventura Point Mugu State Park, and in the northern forests of Santa Paula and Fillmore, this is the first known human cases in this area.

only the reported cases occurred in nearby Santa Barbara in 1992 when a man died after contracting an infection, said Fritz.

According to medical experts, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is contracted when dealing with people infected rodents, typically deer mice, or inhale airborne particles from rat urine, droppings or saliva.

Robert Gallagher, a spokesman for the county Environmental Health Division, said the most common symptoms of the disease include shortness of breath, coughing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle pain, often in the lower back.

The average incubation period of about six weeks before the progress of the disease and the lungs can fill with fluid, causing death. There is no treatment other than breathing machine.

County public health officials interviewed the man Simi Valley Wednesday and learned that he had moved to the area about three months ago and did not leave during that time.

Past field studies in the eastern part of the county has infected rodents revealed in the Wood Ranch off Madera Road in Simi Valley, but it is unclear at this point where the person is infected.

Regardless, Gallagher said it would begin next week a rat trap in the hills around Simi Valley and Moorpark and near Tierra Rejada area outside the Thousand Oaks to see if more infected deer mice there.

“Now that we have a human case we will see a little more cautious than we did before,” said Gallagher Thursday

Even if no mice infected with the addition found -. and it will be determined by blood tests to be done by the state – Gallagher said environmental health employees would start going door to door today to tel l people how to avoid exposure to infected rodents.

“It’s very important to get the public aware of the risks and let them know how to prevent exposure,” said Elise McKee, a nurse county public health office in cooperation with officials of environmental health county this case and interviewing people Simi Valley on Wednesday.

Residents will be given pamphlets warning them to avoid regulation, especially in the room, which is filled with wild rodents and do not touch the mouse or give them access to food and water at home. Using poison and traps are limited around the house and barn are also suggested.

infected mice have been found in every county in the state, McKee said, and some studies suggest that up to 70% of the mice in Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and San Miguel islands carry the hantavirus.

California has the largest number of cases of hantavirus in the country, mainly because of its large population and the fact that experts estimate that up to 12% of all deer mice infected in the state.

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