hantavirus in western washington

  • 4 min read
  • Feb 15, 2020

Deer mice: Cute, but potentially deadly carriers of hantavirus ...
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GRANT COUNTY, Wash – .. Health officials are investigating Moses first reported case of hantavirus (HPS) in Washington this year

According to a news release from the health district, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) have been confirmed in people young adults of Moses on May 10 Flu-like symptoms beginning in late April, and then developed into respiratory failure that required a hospital stay.

People who survived the disease and continues to recover at home.

This is the first case of HPS reported in Washington this year and the fourth case reported in Moses in the last decade.

Another Moses citizens hantavirus disease survived this time last year (2018) – a reminder that the risk of increased exposure to hantavirus in the spring

Moses previous two cases occurred in 2012 .; both were fatal.

Washington is the fifth state leading to cases of HPS. On average, 1 to 5 confirmed cases were reported in Washington each year and although cases have occurred throughout our country, most have been reported from districts in central Washington.

What HPS?

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a rare disease caused by a virus found in the urine, feces and saliva of infected rodents. Deer mice are the only carriers of the virus in Washington State. Because deer mice are present in all parts of Moses, the risk of hantavirus also county-wide.

How do people get HPS?

A person can get HPS with hantavirus when breathing in dust from dried rat urine, saliva and feces containing the virus, swirled in the air. People can also get HPS through direct contact with infected deer mice or touching rodent urine, droppings, or nesting material that contains a virus, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. The disease is not spread from person to person. The greatest risk occurs when a person enters an area covered with rodent infestation and poor air circulation, such as sheds and other outbuildings, a cabin, building a crawl space, vehicles and RVs.

What are the symptoms of HPS?

HPS disease usually begins 1-6 weeks after a person breathes in the virus. The initial signs include fever, muscle aches, headache, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting. As the disease worsens, it causes coughing and shortness of breath, and can lead to respiratory failure. People with hantavirus are usually hospitalized, and about one in three people diagnosed with HPS have died.

If you have been exposed to rodents or rodent full building and have symptoms, see your doctor and tell them about the possible exposure of your rodent.

How HPS prevented?

You can prevent HPS to avoid wild rodents and keeping them out of the place you live, work and play. Remove sources of food, water and shelter and keep Rodent-resistant areas. Sealing cracks and gaps in buildings larger than ¼ inch, including window and door sills, under the sink around pipes, in foundations, attics, and each inlet rodents.

If you find an area with known or suspected rat fleas, it is important to take precautions, especially when entering a confined space where the mice had.

How can people stay safe when hiking, camping and enjoying the outdoors?

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